Next Century Cities Monthly Newsletter
July 2019
New Leadership. We are very excited to welcome Francella Ochillo to her new role as Executive Director of Next Century Cities. She knows what a game changer broadband can be for communities, and is ready to work hard to ensure local leaders are given every opportunity to resolve their own connectivity issues. Francella joined the team on Monday, July 8th, and is already making plans to expand our organization’s reach. Read more in our blog here

Conferences. Policy Director Chris Mitchell and Senior Program Manager Cat Blake attended MountainConnect in Dillon, Colo., in June. Cat moderated a panel on our Becoming Broadband Ready toolkit, released earlier this year. Chris moderated a keynote discussion comparing wireless and fiber technologies. Read about their panels in our blog here . Interested in connecting with the Next Century Cities team at a future event? Reach out to us

FCC Filings. We signed onto two separate sets of comments advocating for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue a further notice of proposed rulemaking which would reconsider regulations on the operation of TV White Spaces. Find the full comments by Connect Americans Now here , and find the full comments by the Open Technology Institute here . We also joined with many of our allies to issue a statement opposing a general cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF). Read the statement here , and read more about the FCC’s proposal to cap the program from the Benton Foundation here .

Preemption. Next Century Cities issued a statement opposing the FCC’s considered preemption of San Francisco’s ordinance that strives to ensure broadband competition in multi-dwelling units (MDUs). We believe that meaningful competition drives progress and that all communities must enjoy self-determination. While we would welcome FCC action to improve policy in pursuit of increased broadband competition, preempting San Francisco’s solution actively works against this goal. Read our statement in full here
NCC Connection Opportunities
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Member News
San Jose, Calif.; Culver City, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Baltimore, Md.; Santa Monica, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Montgomery County, Md. joined dozens of other municipalities in filing an opening brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit making the case for overturning the FCC’s 2018 small cell Order . Read more in a blog from Steve Blum, one of the attorneys working on the case, here . Find the opening brief in full here .  

Ammon, Idaho’s open access fiber utility showcases the power of competition with very affordable internet access rates. Read more in Techdirt here

San Jose, Calif. is on track to be on the largest 5G deployment in the country, thanks to creative partnerships with the private sector. The city is also working hard to close the digital divide, supported, in part, by the small cell deployment fees they’ve negotiated with wireless carriers. Read more in the Federal News Network here

Pittsburgh, Pa. Mayor Bill Peduto and Chattanooga, Tenn. Mayor Andy Berke held a virtual mayoral forum to discuss digital equity. Read more from the city of Pittsburgh here and through the event’s Twitter hashtag here . Additionally, Mayor Berke recently wrote about Chattanooga’s Smart City Collaborative, which uses sensor data to inform inclusive smart city decisions. Read his post here

Breckenridge, Colo. has chosen ALLO Communications as the sole ISP to offer services over the town’s fiber network. Read more in Community Broadband Networks here .

Fort Collins, Colo.’s has successfully implemented a “budgeting for outcomes” participatory process which includes citizen input on city strategic objectives. City Manager Darin Atteberry said it has helped inform the city’s broadband plan. Read more in Route Fifty here

Louisville, Ky. is partnering with Microsoft, the Brookings Institution, and the University of Louisville to provide skills training for artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and data science. Read more from Microsoft here

Portland, Ore.; Philadelphia, Penn.; Austin, Texas; Louisville, Ky.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Jose, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Boston, Mass. are mentioned in a new National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) paper about the challenges of prioritizing digital equity in communities that are pursuing smart city initiatives. Read more from NDIA here

Syracuse, N.Y. will soon begin phasing out its 17,500 conventional streetlights for LED models. The new LED lights are network-enabled, which will allow for efficient control and feedback to operations and maintenance teams. Read more in Government Technology here

Gainesville, Fla. worked with CCG Consulting to explore the option of municipal broadband. Read more from WUFT here .

Riverside, Calif. approved a dark fiber leasing program that will make the city’s 120-mile dark fiber network available to ISPs, wireless operators, and mobile carriers to lease and provide service to industrial and commercial customers. Read more in Community Broadband Networks here

Lowell, Mass. is considering a proposal from SiFi Networks to build an open access fiber network at no cost to the city. Read more in the Lowell Sun here

San Francisco, Calif. is among the 10 finalists for the Engaged Cities Awards. Cities of Service recognizes cities that have addressed environmental, health, and other challenges in order to improve quality of life for their residents. Read more from Smart Cities Dive here

Ponca City, Okla. is upgrading from fixed wireless to fiber. After some delays due to flooding, the city expects the first phase of their Fiber-to-the-Home project to be completed by mid-July. Read more from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here

Hanover, N.H. is featured in an article on New Hampshire towns working to get connected to broadband. Read more in the New Hampshire Business Review here .  

Westminster, Md.’s Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC) will host its Capture the Flag cybersecurity competition on November 9, 2019. Read more from MAGIC here . For details about the event, and to register as a host location, contact Amy Rupp

Business owners in Chattanooga, Tenn. credit the city’s high quality broadband as key to their success. Read more in the Times Free Press here . Chattanooga is also home to a publicly owned fiber optic network that has helped contribute to a lower unemployment rate, a recent study found. Read more in Vice here
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Joke of the Month
Q: How does a tree access the internet?
A: It logs in!

Have a great broadband-themed joke? Send one to us and you might win some Next Century Cities swag!
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