Next Century Cities Monthly Newsletter
September 2019
NCC News. We would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest members: the cities of Belvieu, Texas , and Palm Coast, Fla.

Our new fact sheet The Opportunity of Municipal Broadband details the benefits of municipal networks and argues that all communities should have the option to build network infrastructure and offer broadband services. 

Senior Program Manager Cat Blake published an op-ed in The Hill about why candidates for all levels of office should prioritize broadband access. Cat writes, “Universal broadband access provides a means for individual empowerment, resilient communities and a better democracy. Democrat or Republican, president or mayor, access to broadband should be a keystone in any plan to make our country better.”

Lukas Pietrzak joined the Next Century Cities team as our Membership Manager. Lukas will be working on member engagement and recruitment strategy, helping to ensure that we’re bringing the best value to our members. 

Advocacy. Next Century Cities signed a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of a petition, “seeking a pause in the decline in support for voice-only service and increases in minimum service standards in the Lifeline program pending completion of the FCC’s forthcoming marketplace report.” We also signed on to comments about the future of the C-Band, organized by the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition coalition. The filing reiterated support for using unlicensed spectrum as a tool to accelerate the deployment of high-speed connectivity in rural, Tribal, and other hard-to-serve areas.

We released a statement on the FCC’s recommended approval of the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, a move that would further consolidate the wireless market and eventually raise prices for consumers. “This deal is good for T-Mobile and Sprint, but will ultimately make it harder for Americans to access affordable, high-quality essential mobile services,” said Cat Blake. 
Events. Next Century Cities gathered local broadband advocates, elected officials, industry reps, and policy leaders to discuss all things 5G at two Broadband Breakfasts in August. At the first event in Washington, DC, attendees discussed how different types of spectrum could support faster connectivity speeds and network sharing. In Seattle, Wash. , city and county leaders shared concerns about helping policy makers understand the administrative hurdles, especially in smaller municipalities, associated with shot clocks and small cell deployment. Sincere thanks to the Open Technology Institute in Washington, DC and the city of Seattle for hosting these important conversations.
Executive Director Francella Ochillo provided keynote remarks at the Dallas Federal Reserve’s Digital Inclusion Summit on August 6. Francella addressed why digital access is a prerequisite for meaningful participation in a digital society. She also stressed the importance of treating the expansion of digital access as an immediate priority: “The Americans who are trapped in cycles of poverty will not be able to escape without the tools they need to survive in a digital society.”
NCC Connection Opportunities
Will we see you this fall? Click here if you would like to connect at these upcoming events.  
Member Highlight
Ten years ago, officials in Lafayette, La. approached local telephone and cable operators in hopes that either would be willing to connect homes and businesses to fiber. When they refused, the city responded by building its own fast, affordable, publicly owned network that recently expanded beyond city limits. LUS Fiber , one of the first of its kind nationwide, has triggered economic development and created new opportunities for residents.  
Member News
Boulder, Colo. is planning to begin construction on a municipal fiber network by the end of the year. Public, nonprofit, and research facilities will likely be the first to be connected to the city’s broadband service, which may also be extended to trailer parks. Read more in The Daily Camera here

Independence, Ore.’s Economic Development Director, Shawn Irvine, contributed to a paper about the relationship between connectivity and rural communities and their economies. Read the full paper, developed through the Global City Teams Challenge , here

Seattle, Wash. announced that it’s awarding $320,000 in total to 11 community digital equity projects in the most recent grant cycle of its Technology Matching Fund. Read more in State Scoop here , and learn more about the program and other city digital equity funds in Next Century Cities’ blog post here

San Leandro, Calif. is working with Common Networks, which will use the city’s fiber network to offer residential fixed wireless internet service. Read more from San Leandro Next here .

Turnaround Tuesday, a program in Baltimore, Md. proves the importance of digital skills training in encouraging adoption and use of internet access. Director Terrell Williams is working to help the public and policymakers understand why the lack of digital skills is an even greater impediment to finding a job than a prison record. Read more in the Baltimore Sun here .  

Fort Collins, Colo. officially launched their municipal broadband utility Connexion on August 29th. Read more in The Coloradoan here and from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here

San Antonio, Texas is becoming a cybersecurity hub, thanks in part to businesses that have grown in response to the needs of local military bases. Read more in the Houston Chronicle here .  

Wilson, N.C. educators are taking advantage of the city’s great connectivity to try new teaching techniques and improve learning outcomes. Read more in the Wilson Times 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.

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