Recently, the League’s federal partner, the National League of Cities (NLC), hosted the Overcoming Barriers to Expanding Broadband in American Communities webinar. The webinar recording and slides are now available to review.
The panelists discussed that reliable and fast internet access is an essential requirement for families, communities, and businesses; and they explored the possibility of creating multi-municipal partnerships to establish municipal networks.
Here are a few takeaways from the discussion:
- Broadband access is an equity issue. Local governments, as service providers to residents, must understand where there are service gaps and work to fill those gaps. Lean on organizations that are equipped to engage the community and build partnerships, like with local libraries.
- Local governments are in a key position to negotiate for expanded broadband service in their communities. Even when facing state limits on local authority, there are several tools available to meet local broadband needs, like public-private partnerships, local-state coalition building, federal investments, updates to state laws and more.
- When faced with state preemption of local broadband authority, effective and inclusive coalition-building is an important strategy for communities. In assembling such coalitions, local institutions such as libraries and schools can be eager partners, while non-profits and community-based organizations can provide valuable support.
We encourage you to watch the webinar, review the slides, and share the information with your municipal professionals.
Contact: Paul Penna, Senior Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x110.