Today, Next Century Cities and 38 member communities, including Auburn, urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to respect community choice for Internet infrastructure. The FCC is currently considering whether to allow laws to stand that restrict the ability of communities to pursue high-speed Internet.
Auburn is a member of Next Century Cities, a city-to-city initiative founded to support communities and their elected leaders as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet.
“The FCC has a unique opportunity to recognize the principle of local choice,” said Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach for next-generation Internet, and city leaders are speaking out because all communities should be able to choose the pathway that works best for them.”
In support of the Next Century Cities’ principles of local choice and self-determination, Auburn joined other member communities, including Palo Alto, California; Syracuse, New York; and Champaign, Illinois, stated in a letter to the FCC:
“We are writing to you today because you now face a critical choice that will help determine whether America’s towns and cities are able to develop the digital infrastructure that will power the next century... We write only to urge that, as you consider these petitions, you take proper account of the importance of local choice and autonomy.”
In sending this letter, city leaders hope to make clear to the FCC the vital stakes of this issue.
In 2014, Next Century Cities member cities Wilson (NC) and Chattanooga (TN) filed petitions with the FCC seeking relief from state laws that have inhibited their ability to expand their broadband Internet networks to other communities. The agency is expected to rule on the petitions in the coming weeks.
President Obama also recently weighed in on the issue of local choice, strongly siding with communities seeking all options to ensuring fast, affordable, and reliable Internet for their residents. The President also praised the work of Next Century Cities and its leaders in his January 14 speech in Cedar Falls (IA).