Mayor Burgess signs on to FCC letter regarding Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

On November 3, Mayor Tim Burgess joined more than 200 mayors and county leaders across the country in signing a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai expressing their concern about the FCC’s lack of transparency and the inadequate level of local government representation on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).

The BDAC is conducting important proceedings about the regulations covering wireline and wireless broadband infrastructure deployment that could result in adverse consequences to Seattle and other local communities. Elected officials on the letter believe more must be done to create the proper balance between the business needs of the communications industry and the legitimate interests of local governments. To read more about their concerns, and the letter, visit the National Association of Counties.

 

City of Seattle technology leaders condemn calls to repeal Net Neutrality regulations

Today, the City of Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller condemned the proposal by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to repeal net neutrality rules. Mattmiller encourages FCC commissioners to vote against this proposal and keep the internet open and fair for all to use.

“The fight for strong net neutrality protections is important for the internet to remain a space for creativity, innovation and free speech,” said Mattmiller. “Net neutrality is necessary to protect Seattle’s consumers and ensure all internet content is equally accessible.”

Current FCC net neutrality regulations forbids carriers from slowing down internet speed and content delivery. Pai, whom President Donald Trump appointed to lead the FCC in January 2017, believes the Obama era regulations prohibit the industry from expanding and investing in other networks.

In February 2015, under President Barack Obama, the FCC ruled in favor of net neutrality by reclassifying broadband as a common carrier under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Those rules went into effect in June of 2015.

“A fair and open internet is vital to everyday life in our communities, not only in Seattle but across the country,” said Jim Loter, Director of Digital Engagement for Seattle Information Technology. “It is also critical for ending the digital divide and ensuring all Seattle residents have access to the tools to be successful.”

The City of Seattle was one of 50 cities that participated in the Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality this past summer. More than 5-million people commented on the possibility to end net neutrality on the FCC’s website. To learn more about Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality, visit www.seattle.gov/netneutrality.

Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality

July 12, 2017 – The internet is the utility of the 21st century. It brings access to education, economic opportunities, and ultimately an improved quality of life. For more than twenty years the City of Seattle has sought to close the digital divide, making sure that all of our community members can realize the benefits from having access to the internet and the skills necessary to use it.

In recent years our efforts have received strong championship at the federal level. In 2015, the Federal Communications Communication (FCC) passed a rule guaranteeing “Net Neutrality” – meaning all consumers and entrepreneurs would have equal access to internet users. Today this rule, and the opportunity it brings to our community, are under fire.

The current presidential administration and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai threaten to repeal this basic, modern day necessity. Critics of net neutrality believe, among other things, it limits larger companies from expanding and developing new technologies. They think repeals can expand our economy and increase innovation, when in fact, it would do just the opposite.

Those destined to be hurt by possible repeals are the smaller businesses and startups that are vital to Seattle’s economy. Companies like Cleland Marketing know killing network neutrality guarantees will result in increased barriers to market entry.

Katherine Cleland, a small independent business owner who works with digital marketing clients addressed Senator Maria Cantwell and FCC Commission Mignon Clyburn at a recent Town Hall in Seattle Friday, July 7.

“Right now we are in a struggle amongst all of my clients to meet Google’s requirement for load speeds to be at the top of search engine rankings,” said Cleland. “They have made speed one of their top criteria for SEO optimization. When we buy shared server space rather than sole server space we have slower response times and that can drop us off search engines, which is inadvertent because of what we can spend on servers. If that happened at the ISP level, it would be devastating for businesses that needed or wanted to be at the first page of search engine rankings.” 

You can read more about Cleland’s concerns in her personal essay on the City of Seattle’s Net Neutrality site.

She’s just one Seattleite speaking up against the possible net neutrality repeal. Mayor Ed Murray and I hope you will as well. Now, through August 16, 2017, the FCC it is taking comments on this important issue. Join the more than five million Americans who’ve signed the petition and let the FCC know that the internet should be free and open to all. It only takes a few minutes, but those few minutes are vital to keeping the flow of information moving freely, quickly, and most importantly, moving to all of us.

~Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller

FCC Contact Information:
Email: openinternet@fcc.gov
Phone: 1-888-225-5322
File a comment: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings

To read more about the City’s efforts on the Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality go to www.seattle.gov/netneutrality

 

 

 

 

Mayor, officials weigh in on historic FCC votes

Today, after the FCC voted in favor of net neutrality and municipal broadband choices, Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller issued the following statements:

“I applaud the FCC for passing the strongest net neutrality rules in Internet history, a vital decision for not only entrepreneurs, but for the future of our democracy,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “High-quality, high-speed Internet is essential to an open society and I thank the FCC for allowing municipalities to make local choices about how to increase competition for high-speed Internet that is appropriate for their cities.”

“This is a historic moment in preserving and protecting our right to a fast, inclusive and open Internet,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “The Internet is now a necessity, giving everyone a voice, access to education, and opportunity in our economy. Today’s ruling ensures a tech startup or a small business are able to compete on equal footing with larger companies by prohibiting paid prioritization and throttling of content and services.”

Although the decision of the FCC directly affects Tennessee and North Carolina, it sends a resounding message nationally that local choice is vital for next-generation Internet adoption. Local government knows the needs of our residents and businesses best and local officials are directly accountable to their constituents, which is why this decision is so important. It’s critical for communities to have the ability to choose the best way to provide high-quality Internet for its public,” said Michael Mattmiller, Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer. “Competition benefits all members in a community and similar to any other market, high-speed broadband Internet is frequently better and cheaper when communities have choices about how that Internet service is provided. The City of Seattle commissioned a study in November to explore creation of a municipal broadband internet utility in Seattle. We look forward to receiving the results of this study in April.”

Mayor, officials weigh in on historic FCC votes

Today, after the FCC voted in favor of net neutrality and municipal broadband choices, Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller issued the following statements:

“I applaud the FCC for passing the strongest net neutrality rules in Internet history, a vital decision for not only entrepreneurs, but for the future of our democracy,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “High-quality, high-speed Internet is essential to an open society and I thank the FCC for allowing municipalities to make local choices about how to increase competition for high-speed Internet that is appropriate for their cities.”

“This is a historic moment in preserving and protecting our right to a fast, inclusive and open Internet,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “The Internet is now a necessity, giving everyone a voice, access to education, and opportunity in our economy. Today’s ruling ensures a tech startup or a small business are able to compete on equal footing with larger companies by prohibiting paid prioritization and throttling of content and services.”

Although the decision of the FCC directly affects Tennessee and North Carolina, it sends a resounding message nationally that local choice is vital for next-generation Internet adoption. Local government knows the needs of our residents and businesses best and local officials are directly accountable to their constituents, which is why this decision is so important. It’s critical for communities to have the ability to choose the best way to provide high-quality Internet for its public,” said Michael Mattmiller, Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer. “Competition benefits all members in a community and similar to any other market, high-speed broadband Internet is frequently better and cheaper when communities have choices about how that Internet service is provided. The City of Seattle commissioned a study in November to explore creation of a municipal broadband internet utility in Seattle. We look forward to receiving the results of this study in April.”