laying fiber optic cable (Photo by Broadband USA, Department of Commerce)

Cities to Trump: Don’t forget about broadband infrastructure

When it comes to President Donald Trump’s plan for infrastructure spending, local government officials want to be sure he includes support for broadband.

Mayors and other local leaders from 62 communities sent a letter to Trump, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on the importance of including broadband in any infrastructure plan.

The letter supports three broadband priorities: access, affordability and local solutions for connectivity.

The signatories, which are members of the Next Century Cities -- an organization committed to improving affordable broadband internet access -- called for increasing last-mile and middle-mile fiber networks and supporting communities that are facilitating right-of-way access through policies that govern wiring on poles and underground.

The letter supports broadband competition as a way to increase affordability and advocates for a variety of local solutions including city-designed networks, public-private partnerships and multi-provider, open-access delivery as well as nonprofit models from telephone and electric co-ops.

“This letter, signed by cities large and small, serves as a reminder to state and federal lawmakers that there is widespread, bipartisan support for the deployment of high-speed, reliable internet access.” said Deb Socia, executive director of Next Century Cities.

Trump again promised to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure during his Feb. 28 address to Congress, but offered no indication that he would include broadband in that plan. 

"Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land," the president said.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA and MA from West Chester University and did Ph.D. work in English at the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at or @sjaymiller.

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