This morning, Next Century Cities officially released “Connecting 21st Century Communities: A Policy Agenda for Broadband Stakeholders.” From encouraging broadband-friendly municipal codes, to urging federal policy reform, to outlining the role of philanthropy and citizens in broadband projects, this new toolkit provides a roadmap of steps multiple partners can take to move communities in the direction of next-generation Internet access for all. Expanding high quality Internet access in a community, whether large or small, can yield a multitude of benefits for residents—from improved health services, to new opportunities for small businesses, to higher property values, to a stronger local economy.
The recommendations in the policy agenda are drawn from a wide range of real-world approaches and models, giving communities a series of applicable best practices. This new resource offers specific examples of where and how the recommended policies are already working, often in Next Century Cities member communities, with the goal of helping municipal leaders across the country learn from each other. The best practices outlined in this toolkit are aimed at five stakeholder groups whose cooperation is critical to the success of a broadband project:
- Local Government
- State Government
- Federal Government
We’re excited to release this policy agenda at a time when attention at the local, state, and national level is increasingly focused on improving communities through deploying critical broadband infrastructure. We hope this resource helps communities to envision a path towards their broadband goals!