The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) USA took place in Washington, DC on Thursday, July 25, 2019. Each year, IGF engages a diverse network of stakeholders to create a dialogue around the most pressing issues facing the Internet. Through these conversations, attendees are able to share best practices, build coalitions, and otherwise work together to move Internet governance policy issues forward. 

Francella Ochillo, Executive Director of Next Century Cities, participated in a panel discussion, The Impact of 5G on Current and Emerging Technologies. As she explained, 5G will have a varying impact on Next Century Cities members. For instance, 5G technology will allow cities with high connectivity to launch new safety initiatives, improve transportation networks, develop telemedicine programs, increase educational opportunities, and more. However, cities that are struggling to bring reliable broadband connections to their residents are unlikely to enjoy the benefits of 5G’s promise. 

Francella reiterated that bringing 5G to our nation’s most remote and disconnected communities will require hundreds of thousands of small cell deployments and millions of miles of fiber wireline. That is why local leaders need to be included in policy-making process. At minimum, they need state and federal policies that support local broadband deployment initiatives.

Watch a full video of the panel here. Revisit highlights from the conference on Twitter #IGFUSA2019