Mayor Murray joins other mayors in calling for federal investment in affordable, accessible broadband

Recognizing the importance of reliable and affordable high-speed internet in empowering communities and fostering entrepreneurship, Mayor Ed Murray today joined dozens of mayors from across the country in calling on the president and congressional leaders to ensure broadband investments are part of any new federal infrastructure plan.

In a letter to President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, Mayor Murray joined the nonpartisan Next Century Cities coalition of mayors and municipal leaders to note the important role broadband plays in fostering business, education and civic engagement, and to seek assurances that local efforts to improve broadband access will be supported in national infrastructure improvements.

“Broadband internet access is key for increasing equity and opportunity in communities across the country,” said Mayor Murray. “It empowers entrepreneurship and economic growth, prepares our teachers and students for success in the classroom, and gives residents a voice in the civic dialog on our future. I urge the federal government to pursue policies that expand accessible and affordable broadband internet for millions of Americans.”

In all, 65 leaders from 62 cities representing nearly 16 million people co-signed the Next Century Cities letter, which outlines several principles for supporting broadband in federal infrastructure plans:

  • Promote broadband access​ by preferencing proposals from communities that have taken steps to facilitate right-of-way-access and that have eliminated unreasonable barriers to local internet choice.
  • Promote broadband affordability by offering incentives to new market entrants and overbuilders.
  • Promote local solutions for broadband​ by including funding for city-led public-private partnerships, nonprofit models, co-ops and other such local arrangements.

In December 2015, Next Century Cities leaders encouraged the FCC to ratify the proposal to modernize the Lifeline program, stressing the need to put broadband in reach for low-income families to enhance education, civic engagement, and economic opportunity. Read more.

To learn more about the City of Seattle’s broadband initiative, visit https://www.seattle.gov/tech/initiatives/broadband.

 

 

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