Next Century Cities has been on the move this past month! We participated at several conferences across the country, including in Colorado, Connecticut, and Minnesota. We were glad to have the opportunity to discuss a range of topics to encourage broadband deployment and ensure that everyone is connected to fast, affordable, and reliable broadband internet.


Here’s a look at just some of the things we were up to in May:


Executive Director Deb Socia moderated two panels on Requests for Information (RFIs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) at Mountain Connect. On May 22, she moderated a panel titled “Ignite your RFP” and on May 24, she moderated a general session panel debate titled “Are RFIs Impeding Progress?” On May 23, Policy Director Chris Mitchell had a discussion with Blair Levin at the event. Read more about the conference here and watch the panels here.


Deb Socia also participated on Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) and CTC Technology & Energy (CTC) webinar, “Facilitating Municipal Broadband Deployment on a Shoestring?”, on May 24. The webinar is the fifth in a series of web conferences on building communications networks to meet the needs of Connecticut’s cities and towns. Learn more about the panel here and watch past webinars here.

Representatives from Boston, Mass., Austin, Texas, Kansas City, Mo., and Seattle on a panel at

National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s Net Inclusion 2017


On May 16, Deb moderated a panel on how local governments are creating the frameworks for digital equity and participated in a lightening round conversation at National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s Net Inclusion 2017. Deb was joined on the panel by several Next Century Cities members, including representatives from Seattle, Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, Mo. Read more about the event here.

Deb Socia and the Gigabit Experience Center team in Louisville, Ky.


On Wednesday, May 10, Deb joined Louisville, Ky. Mayor Greg Fischer at the opening of the Gigabit Experience Center. The Center will offer free, super-fast Wi-Fi at the Louisville Central Community Center in the Russell neighborhood, located directly adjacent to low-income housing in one of the lowest income neighborhoods in the city. Louisville was a winner of the Next Century Cities Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Award, which provided seed funding for the Center. Read more about the opening here.

Representatives from Next Century Cities and Google Fiber with the Digital Inclusion Leadership Award Winners


Next Century Cities and Google Fiber announced the winners of the 2017 Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards at the the Broadband Communities Summit (BBC Summit) in Dallas, Texas. In the Digital Inclusion Best Practices category, Boston, Massachusetts’ Tech Goes Home program and Raleigh, North Carolina’s Digital Connectors program were announced as overall winners, while Chicago, Illinois and Peer 2 Peer University’s Learning Circles program received recognition as the most innovative approach. In the Most Promising New Plan category, New York City, New York’s Queensbridge Connected initiative and Riverside County, California’s RivCoconnect program were selected as overall winners, with the most innovative approach prize going to Kansas City, Missouri’s Internet Services and Weatherization Program.


The winners of Next Century Cities’ Benton Next Generation Engagement Awards also presented on the progress they have made implementing their projects at the Summit. Representatives from Austin, Texas, Raleigh, N.C., and Louisville, Ky. each showcased what they had done so far, and what they hoped to accomplish with their projects. Read more about the Digital Inclusion Award winners here and the Benton Award panel here.