Next Century Cities Monthly Newsletter
November 2019
Next Century Cities participated in October’s National Digital Inclusion Week by sharing some of the innovative ways our members have worked to ensure everyone has access to affordable, reliable broadband and the economic opportunities it provides. Learn about how community networks in Cedar Falls, Iowa ; Wilson, N.C. ; and Fort Collins, Colo. are prioritizing digital equity. 

Executive Director Francella Ochillo and Angela Siefer of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance published an op-ed in the Tennessean about why we need a national strategy to close the digital divide. Francella also published an article in Axios on the ties between income inequality and limited broadband access. 

Policy Director Christopher Mitchell published an article in The American Conservative on how state broadband preemption affects community broadband projects, specifically looking at the creation of Lafayette, La.’s municipal fiber network. 

Senior Program Manager Cat Blake published a piece in the Benton Institute’s Digital Beat about how local investments in public broadband infrastructure can save money for cities, utility ratepayers, and subscribers. 

Next Century Cities teamed up with the Internet Society to develop two new resources on network security: 

A new report from the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society highlighted local efforts to improve connectivity in many Next Century Cities member communities. Our blog post details the member stories featured in the report. 
Great Lakes Connect - Christopher led sessions on the benefits of community networks and how cities can prepare to meet the infrastructure needs of smart city technologies. 

Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) - Francella represented Next Century Cities in a career building workshop featuring students and alumni from public interest technology programs. 

Technology for Good - Cat joined a panel to talk about what makes a community “smart” and what steps municipalities can take to get there. 

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science, Technology, and Human Rights Conference - Francella provided keynote remarks on multi-disciplinary ways to expand broadband access. She highlighted the many creative, effective solutions developed by NCC member communities. 
Francella, along with Phillip Berenbroick and Jenna Leventoff of Public Knowledge, and Amir Nasr of New America’s Open Technology Institute, met with Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s office to discuss the FCC’s updates to broadband data collection and the potential cap on the Universal Service Fund. 

Next Century Cities joined with other members of the Broadband Connects America coalition in signing on to a letter to Congress suggesting broadband mapping priorities. The letter highlighted the importance of broadband affordability, recognition of broadband deployment as both a rural and urban issue, and that an effective broadband strategy must include investment in digital inclusion initiatives.
NCC Connection Opportunities.
Will we see you this fall? Click here if you would like to connect at these upcoming events.  
NCC Member News.
Welcome new members: Ann Arbor, Mich. and South Bend, Ind.!

Community owned networks in Wilson, N.C.; Longmont, Colo.; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Fort Collins, Colo. are prioritizing digital equity. From closing the homework gap to connecting public housing residents, these programs show what is possible when networks are focused on benefitting their community instead of maximizing profits. Read more from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here

South Bend, Ind.’s Chief Innovation Officer, Denise Linn Riedl, joined the Community Broadband Bits podcast to discuss the city’s innovation strategy, publicly owned dark fiber infrastructure, data governance project, and more. Listen to the episode here

In an effort to ease roadway congestion, Centennial, Colo. is assessing the feasibility of an intelligent transportation system that would be built using Centennial’s fiber network. Read more from the Colorado League of Municipalities here .

San Jose, Calif. opened applications for $1 million in grants related to digital equity and inclusion. Read more in Government Technology here , and read more about the program, as well as Austin, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; and Boston, Mass.’s local digital inclusion funds from Next Century Cities here

Lakeland, Fla. hosted a public forum on Tuesday to gather resident feedback on whether the city should become a municipal internet service provider. Read more in the Ledger here

San Francisco, Calif . is home to a stark digital divide, but a variety of recent initiatives and a new digital equity strategy may mean that the city is finally on its way to getting all San Franciscans connected to broadband. Read more in SFWeekly here

Lincoln, Neb. and ALLO Communications are partnering to provide free gigabit internet access to 75 local nonprofits for 10 years. The Community Connect Program was included in Lincoln’s broadband franchise agreement with ALLO. Read more from KOLN-TV here . David Young shared the backstory of the ALLO partnership with Lincoln here .

Lafayette, La.’s publicly owned fiber network, LUS Fiber, is expanding to serve residents and businesses in Carencro, a nearby suburb. Read more from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here

Ammon, Idaho is home to America’s “most sophisticated fiber network,” according to FastCompany . The network offers competition and pricing unavailable in most cities. Read more here

Westminster, Md. and Wilson, N.C. are both examples of how telehealth services benefit residents and local economies, as well as the importance of strong relationships between community broadband networks and healthcare systems. Read more in GovTech here

Portland, Ore. is joining neighboring communities and surrounding Multnomah County to kick off talks about a potential collaborative public broadband network. Read more from Fox 12 here .

Eugene, Ore.’s dark fiber infrastructure is helping bring new jobs to downtown. Read more from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here

Fort Collins, Colo.’s Colman Keane, Executive Director of Connexion, recently received the Dr. Charles Kao Award for Community Broadband. Read more from the Fiber Broadband Association here
Request for Proposals (RFPs).
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. 

Palm Coast, Fla. is seeking proposals from companies interested in providing border gateway protocol (BGP) internet bandwidth, monitoring the city’s internet bandwidth needs, and managing the network routing of the internet bandwidth. The successful proposer will have a thorough knowledge and understanding of internet bandwidth network protocol, expert network administration, and the capability to manage multiple BGP peering sessions. Responses are due tomorrow, November 7th at 2pm ET. Find more information here

Palo Alto, Calif. is seeking proposals from qualified firms to develop a business case to begin a multi-phase fiber optic network expansion plan. Proposals are due on November 8th at 3pm PT. 

Please note that in order to submit a proposal to the city you must register with PlanetBids following these instructions . Please register under commodity code “91500 Communications And Media Related Services” or “91800 Consulting Services.”

Boulder, Colo. is soliciting bids from qualified contractors to construct approximately 55 miles of fiber-optic backbone and approximately 10 miles of fiber lateral extensions. In the short-term, this infrastructure is intended to support core city services like traffic signal management and data management systems for public safety. In the long-term, this infrastructure could support gigabit speed internet services to homes, a range of city applications and provide support for connectivity to smart city projects such as smart streets. Responses are due November 15th at 1pm MT. Find more information here .
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.

Have a great broadband-themed joke?  Send one to us and you might win some Next Century Cities swag!
Please consider making a donation to Next Century Cities to support our continued work with cities, towns, and counties across the country.

Know someone who might be interested in this newsletter? They can view past editions and subscribe here !
Next Century Cities, 1342 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009