View a pdf of this press release here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brittany-Rae Gregory
Next Century Cities Issues a Response
to the FCC’s Request for Comment on
The Digital Opportunity Data Collection
Washington D.C. (September 9, 2020) –Next Century Cities (“NCC”) issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) request for comment on Establishing the Digital Opportunity Data Collection and Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program.
As NCC states in the public filing, underestimating which households still do not have broadband access or are unable to adopt puts unserved and underserved communities at a distinct disadvantage. Next Century Cities urges the Commission to work in partnership with local government officials and community leaders to develop high quality mapping data that identifies what broadband speeds are available in what areas and at what price.
The following statement can be attributed to Francella Ochillo, Executive Director, Next Century Cities:
“In light of mandatory work-from-home, remote learning, and telemedicine programs, being able to identify which communities continue to struggle with affordable and reliable broadband connectivity is urgent. It simply cannot wait.
“Doing so with precision requires the FCC’s uncompromising leadership, transparency from providers, input from local and state officials, and a process that tests the veracity of Form 477 data. The Commission must also ask hard questions about actual versus advertised speeds and collect pricing data to determine where service is available for a reasonable cost.
“Local officials are keenly aware of the role that widespread broadband access plays in their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as its ongoing impact on educational, health, and civic engagement outcomes in their communities. They are counting on the FCC to accelerate broadband deployment and welcome partnership opportunities in furtherance of that goal.”
Review NCC’s filing here.
Next Century Cities is a non-profit organization of over 200 communities, founded to support communities and their elected leaders. Our membership includes mayors and other officials who are working to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable internet access. For more information, visit www.nextcenturycities.org .