Thirty-two cities have launched a collaborative effort to promote deployment and use of gigabit-level broadband access networks. The Next Century Cities initiative launched October 20 at a kickoff ceremony in Santa Monica, CA, aims to promote the importance of gigabit-level Internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, and connect residents to new opportunities.
Next Century Cities members say they will share lessons learned during previous and ongoing deployments and raise awareness of the value of gigabit broadband services.
Mayors of 31 of the cities attended the launch ceremony. "Across the country, city leaders are hungry to deploy high-speed Internet to transform their communities and connect residents to better jobs, better health care, and better education for their children," said Deb Socia, executive director of Next Century Cities. "These mayors are rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done. Next Century Cities will be right alongside them to help make their goal of communities across the country having access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet a reality."
Founding communities include:
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
Several of these communities already have gigabit fiber to the home (FTTH) networks in place or on the drawing board. Some installed their fiber-optic networks in partnership with their local utility (see, for example, "EPB Fiber Optics offers 1 Gigabit broadband in Chattanooga via GPON" and "Clarksville, TN, gets 1-Gbps FTTH via Zhone ONTs"); others, such as Kansas City, MO and KS, and Austin have benefited from Google Fiber and/or competitive responses to that initiative (see "Google begins connecting homes to Kansas City FTTH network,""Google Fiber coming to Austin," and "AT&T completes gigabit upgrade for Austin customers").
"Right now, there is an excitement over what cities can accomplish and Next Century Cities can help take that excitement to the next level," said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. "From building Innovation Districts and the resurgence of entrepreneurship to supporting growth through infrastructure, the environment, and economic development, cities are developing and implementing innovative solutions that make life better for communities across the county."
More information about Next Century Cities can be found on the organization's website.
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