Mayors and other city and county leaders from sixty-two Next Century Cities member communities, representing nearly 16 million Americans, sent a letter today to President Trump, Majority Leader McConnell, and Speaker Ryan on the importance of including broadband in any infrastructure plan.

The letter asserts that broadband internet access is necessary infrastructure, and a key to prosperity. It has the power to expand entrepreneurship and economic growth, arm teachers and students for success in the classroom, and give citizens a voice on a both a local and national level. It was sent on the same day the United States Senate held a hearing on “Improving Access to Infrastructure,” focusing on transportation and information networks. The letter was read into the record by US Senator Ed Markey (D-MA).

The letter recommends three key broadband priorities for any federal infrastructure plan: access, affordability, and local solutions for connectivity. It also emphasizes that the internet is nonpartisan, and that federal leaders should work together across party lines to promote the deployment of next-generation broadband.

“Today’s letter, signed by representatives from sixty-one cities and counties across the country, shows significant support for the inclusion of broadband in any infrastructure bill,” said Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities. “This letter, signed by cities large and small, serves as a reminder to state and federal lawmakers that there is widespread, bipartisan support for the deployment of high-speed, reliable internet access.”

See the letter here.