Santa Cruz County Supervisor Zach Friend joined sixty-five other city and county leaders on a letter about the importance of including broadband in any plan to improve the country’s infrastructure, which was sent to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and House Speaker Ryan. Supervisor Friend joined elected officials from across the nation to demonstrate the widespread support at the community level for the deployment of reliable high speed internet access as federal discussions continue about a national infrastructure plan.
“Locally, we’ve created nationally-modeled policies to expand and improve high speed Internet access” Supervisor Friend said. “But we know we need to do more. The federal government can invest in this infrastructure to ensure that our community, and others across the country, has broadband that meets the needs of local schools, businesses and residents.”
Including Santa Cruz County, the 65 signers of the letter together represent nearly 16 million Americans. The letter was led by Next Century Cities at http://nextcenturycities.org a bipartisan organization of mayors and city leaders focused on ensuring fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access for all Americans.
“As mayors and municipal officials, we have each championed access for our residents to high-quality broadband in ways that are right for our communities,” the letter stated. “We are eager to have the federal government take steps in an infrastructure package that will truly increase internet access for millions of Americans, and do so in ways that recognize the importance of local leaders in making these lofty plans a reality in our towns and cities across America.”
The letter recommended three key broadband priorities for any federal infrastructure plan: access, affordability, and local solutions for connectivity. It also emphasized that the Internet is nonpartisan, and that federal leaders should work together across party lines to promote the deployment of next-generation broadband.