Next Century Cities Monthly Newsletter
February 2020
If our Bipartisan Tech Policy Conference was any indicator, 2020 is going to be an outstanding year for Next Century Cities. Over 300 hundred of you joined us in person or online to hear from tech policy experts from all across the country. The day was packed with thought provoking questions, dynamic speakers, new connections, and a few laughs sprinkled in between. 
There’s a lot more of that in store for NCC. As this year kicks off, we’ll continue to elevate local voices and help lawmakers to under why broadband is essential infrastructure – and travel to communities far removed from the policy discussions in Washington, DC to document our members’ challenges and success stories in publications that help shape policy. 
Thank you for being a part of this important and evolving work. I’m thrilled to be on this incredible journey with you all. 

Join the Next Century Cities team! Apply to become a Policy Associate/Counsel or Communications Manager/Director with NCC. Find more information here

NCC News 
In January, Next Century Cities welcomed our newest member, Holland, Mich. !

On January 23rd, Next Century Cities hosted the second annual Opportunities for Bipartisan Tech Policy conference in Washington, DC, and it was a great success. The event brought together local leaders, federal policymakers, and advocates to find common ground and a path forward on pressing tech policy issues. Read more about the event, watch the recording, and explore our photo album in our blog post .

Next Century Cities members from across the United States traveled to Washington, D.C. for our Opportunities for Bipartisan Tech Conference. Before returning home, local officials from Lexington-Fayette County, Ky. and Ammon, Idaho. took their arguments directly to the decision makers. Click here to find out more.

Next Century Cities partnered with INCOMPAS to host an informal roundtable discussion about strategies for competitive fiber deployment. The conversation was an opportunity for industry and local government leaders to discuss obstacles and opportunities for collaboration. 

Next Century Cities recently joined a group of public interest advocates to meet with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireline Bureau to discuss key points in the annual Broadband Deployment Report. The group advocated for the broadband speed standard to be increased, that mobile broadband is not a substitute for a fixed home connection, that the FCC should collect broadband price data, and that we should continue to work for better data collection processes. Read more on our blog .

We also joined allies, including the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, Center for Rural Strategies, and others, in a filing led by the National Consumer Law Center reiterating that the Lifeline program is essential for ensuring that low-income households have access to broadband. As the only federal telecommunications subsidy, Lifeline is an essential tool to bring broadband within reach for families living on the margins. Read more here .

Our Executive Director, Francella Ochillo, joined the Power Station podcast to talk about Next Century Cities’ work supporting local broadband solutions. Francella concluded the interview with recommendations for ways that philanthropic, nonprofit allies, and the public could help support Next Century Cities’ efforts. Listen here .  
NCC Member Highlight
Lincoln, Neb.’s publicly-owned conduit network led to the creation of a partnership with ALLO Communications, which now provides fiber-to-the-home service throughout the entire city.
NCC Member News
Albuquerque, N.M.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Md.; Boston, Mass.; Culver City, Calif.; Eugene, Ore.; Fresno, Calif.; Huntington Beach, Calif.; Lincoln, Neb.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Montgomery County, Md.; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Calif.; Santa Monica, Calif.; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle, Wash. ; and Westminster, Md.’s lawsuit to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) small cell Order will continue in 2020, with oral arguments scheduled for early in the year. ( Bloomberg

Jacksonville, Ill. hosted a Special Studies Committee meeting to receive public input on how to improve broadband access in the city. The meeting is a first step to determine what broadband model will be best for the community. ( City of Jacksonville )

Chattanooga, Tenn. and Seattle, Wash. submitted letters to the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee emphasizing the importance of local leadership in closing the digital divide. The letters were incorporated into the subcommittee’s hearing record, “ Empowering and Connecting Communities Through Digital Equity and Internet Adoption .” Read the letters here

Seattle, Wash. also created a new initiative, called Build for Broadband or B4B, to educate landlords about broadband. The goal of the initiative is to provide resources and best practices for allowing multiple ISPs to serve residential apartment buildings. ( POTs and PANs )

Ammon, Id. ’s open access network was the subject of a report from New America’s Open Technology Institute. “Our research demonstrates that municipal broadband networks can have a positive impact on their communities,” the report reads. “Municipal networks, often managed and operated fully or partially by local governments, exhibit a high level of responsiveness to consumer needs and lower prices than larger internet service providers.” ( New America )

Ponca City, Ok. has been operating a free municipal fixed wireless network for years. This past summer, city leaders decided to expand the network to offer fiber to the home service. Dave Williams, the city’s Director of Technology Service, joined the Community Broadband Bits podcast to discuss how Ponca City made the decision to upgrade. ( Community Broadband Bits )

Organizations in Austin, Texas; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Eugene, Ore. ; and Lafayette, La. received grant awards from US Ignite to promote the replication of their successful smart and connected community initiatives. ( US Ignite )

Longmont, Colo.’s municipal fiber network, NextLight, has been offering affordable, high-quality service since 2014. NextLight’s Director, Valerie Dodd, joined the Community Broadband Bits podcast to talk about techniques for achieving a high take rate and the city’s commitment to digital inclusion. ( Institute for Local Self-Reliance )

Chattanooga, Tenn. is expanding their 4K microscope program through a grant from the National Science Foundation to provide access for Lafayette, La. and Jackson, Tenn. The program provides access to a microscope usually only used by organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ( Teknovation

Medina County, Ohio. achieved a major financial milestone this month with their successful Medina Fiber Network. The network, first launched in 2012, has expanded from an anchor institution provider to a residential provider across the county. As of February 11th, Medina Fiber has reached a monthly revenue equal to the monthly bond payment used to support the network. ( MuniNetworks )
Request for Proposals (RFPs)
The RFP for Northampton Municipal Network Study was just released . The City of Northampton, Mass. is considering a city-provided/initiated gigabit broadband service network aimed at various economic and social benefits and, specifically, is evaluating the viability of a municipal network. Click here to review the RFP . Bids are due to the City of Northampton’s IT Services Department by March 12th.

Sign up at our website to receive an alert whenever a new RFP from one of our member communities is announced. You can also visit this page to read current and past RFPs from other communities. 
Want to know more about our work? Follow Next Century Cities on Twitter , like us on Facebook , and watch our videos on YouTube . And be sure to visit for news, blog posts, RFP alerts, toolkits, and information on new members!

Joining Next Century Cities is simple and free ! If you know a community that would benefit from membership, please contact Lukas Pietrzak for more information.

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