32 cities are coming together to launch a new broadband initiative. Next Century Cities aims to ensure the availability of next-generation broadband Internet for all communities. The cities and their elected leaders are joining together to recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit-level Internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, and connect residents to new opportunities.
The group will support municipal officials as they work through gigabit broadband expansion in their localities. The initiative was launched today in Santa Monica, California with the support of some existing gigabit cities including Boston, Chattanooga, Raleigh, Portland, Lafayette, and San Antonio.
Next Century Cities will engage with and assist communities in developing and deploying next-generation broadband Internet. Participating cities will work with each other to learn about what works – and what doesn’t – so that every community has access to information that can help them succeed. The initiative is notable as a variety of service providers including Google Fiber and AT&T have announced expansions to their gigabit service offerings in recent months. Cities have also worked through efforts from incumbent telecommunications providers to attack and curb municipal networks with public sector backing. There’s is also a federal effort mounting to limit municipal networks built by cities themselves.
“Santa Monica is proud to be one of the inaugural municipalities to join Next Century Cities because of our ability to offer our community the fastest, most reliable and affordable access to the Internet and our desire to assist other cities in doing the same. Through this collaborative network of cities, we are able to share accomplishments as well as learn from each other, stimulating innovation,” said Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor.
The inaugural group of cities includes:
Kansas City, KS
Kansas City, MO
Mount Vernon, WA
Palo Alto, CA
Ponca City, OK
San Antonio, TX
Santa Cruz County, CA
Santa Monica, CA
South Portland, ME