Next Century Cities Monthly Newsletter
August 2019
Leadership. Francella Ochillo stepped into the role of Executive Director in mid-July, and the past few weeks have been a busy time of transition for the Next Century Cities team. Don’t miss Francella's appearance on WashingTECH , a tech policy podcast, where she discussed how to include local governments in the 5G conversation.  

Resources. Some of our members have established digital equity grant programs to help bridge the digital divide. In a new blog post , we highlight successful initiatives in Seattle, Wash.; Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; and San Jose, Calif. Not only do these local programs fund community projects, but they also play a role in informing each city’s digital equity priorities. 

Our Becoming Broadband Ready toolkit compiles the common threads of successful broadband projects to create a roadmap for communities working to improve connectivity. Senior Program Manager Cat Blake recently wrote a blog post for the Internet Society that outlines some of the toolkit’s key points and explains how local leaders can benefit from the resources it provides. 

Curious about what’s possible for communities willing to innovate around broadband solutions? Next Century Cities’ newest fact sheet illustrates the many paths to better connectivity. From municipal networks to public-private partnerships, we detailed a few of the ways that our members have improved access to fast, affordable, and reliable internet access. Find a printable version of the fact sheet here

Events. Cat presented at the Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference Annual Meeting in July. “Broadband can seem like a tech issue on its surface,” she said in a session on rural broadband , “but connectivity is a conversation that every single department should be having at the state level.” Cat also attended the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference, where she gave a presentation to the GIS Subcommittee about the challenges and opportunities of 5G deployments for county governments. 

Francella participated in a panel discussion at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and explained the varying impact 5G will have 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, communities that are still struggling to connect residents are unlikely to see the benefits of 5G networks anytime soon. 
NCC Connection Opportunities
Will we see you this fall? Click here if you would like to connect at these upcoming events.  
Great Lakes Connect : September 30-October 2; Lake Geneva, Wisc.
SHLB Annual Conference : October 16-18; Crystal City, Va.
Broadband Communities’ 2019 High-Speed Broadband Conference : October 30-31; Washington, DC (NCC participation)
National League of Cities City Summit : November 20-23; San Antonio, Texas
Member News
Charlotte, N.C. and Huntington Beach, Calif. were recipients of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) Community Broadband and Digital Equity Awards. Read more from NATOA here .   

Huntington Beach, Calif.’s revitalization plan includes the creation of a broadband plan and an ad hoc committee to review policy and outline goals for broadband, technology, and transportation movements. Read more in Government Technology here

Gainesville, Fla. is pursuing potential partnerships with neighboring communities, the county, and local education institutions as it works to improve connectivity for residents. Read more from WUFT here .  

Chicopee, Mass. is developing a fiber to the home residential pilot project, in which Chicopee Electric Light will provide service to four neighborhoods. Read more from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here

Lakeland, Fla.’s investments in dark fiber and proactive dig once policy has situated the city well for investment in a municipal network, said consultants working with the city. They also provided a new, lower cost estimate of $80 million to build a city-wide fiber-optic network. Read more from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here , and from The Ledger here .

San Francisco, Calif. is appealing the FCC’s decision to preempt a city ordinance intended to encourage broadband competition in multiple dwelling units. The city argues that the FCC’s decision exceeds its statutory authority. Read more in Bloomberg here

Westminster, Md.’s fiber network and the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC) complement one another to create a local tech ecosystem. Read more in the Carroll County Times here

Fort Collins, Colo. is gearing up to launch their new broadband network next month. Read more in the Coloradoan here
Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; Raleigh, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C. Boston, Mass.; San Jose, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Madison, Wisc. are among BroadbandNow’s 2019 Digital Inclusion Trailblazers. Read more from BroadbandNow here .  

Montrose, Colo. hosted the first installment of a new rural broadband webcast series. Read more and find the webcast recording in Broadband Breakfast here .

Pittsburgh, Pa. is pioneering smart city innovations with its traffic, airport, and autonomous vehicle initiatives. Because of its focus on data-driven solutions and collaboration, Baltimore, Md. is well-positioned to do the same. Read more in the Baltimore Sun here

Kansas City, Kan.’s Deputy Director of Public Works David Young has been appointed to an FCC working group that will advise the Commission on strategies to increase broadband investment in low-income communities. Read more from the FCC here

Publicly owned networks in Fairlawn, Ohio; Longmont, Colo.; and Chattanooga, Tenn. offer some of the fastest service speeds in the nation. Some private ISPs that partner with communities also made the list, including ALLO Communications, which connects residents in Lincoln, Neb. and is planning a partnership with Breckenridge, Colo. , as well as Hotwire, which operates in Salisbury, N.C. Read more from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here

Shireen Santosham, Chief Innovation Officer for San Jose, Calif. discussed San Jose’s smart city innovation projects on an episode of Note to Self. Watch the live recording of the podcast here .  

Gaylord, Minn.’s rural-focused medical school, scheduled to open in the fall of 2020, will rely on the high-speed internet access provided by RS Fiber Cooperative. Read more from MinnPost here .

Seattle, Wash. and Portland, Ore. are among a handful of American cities that have created privacy guardrails for data gathered as a part of smart city projects. Oakland, Calif. plans to vote on citywide privacy principles this fall. Read more from Axios here

Chattanooga, Tenn. is partnering with electric utilities in neighboring communities as they get started in the broadband business. Read more in Telecompetitor here

Tullahoma, Tenn.’s high quality connectivity is a key reason a local company plans to expand, create 200 new jobs. Read more in the Times Free Press here .   
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