Broadband access promotes economic development, improves environmental sustainability, enhances public health and safety, and increases educational opportunities for millions of Americans. Understanding how to use this powerful tool effectively can empower local leaders to efficiently govern, deliver services and engage with their constituents in a truly innovative way.
Technology and communications services are at the heart of what drives local governments' ability to innovate and enhance the way they provide services for their residents and steer economic growth. This case study profiles two communities that sought to gain a better understanding of why broadband matters to them and how they decided to use it to meet their community's needs.
Why Broadband Matters: A Look at its Impact and Application for Cities, 2013
This study explores how local governments can improve broadband access for residents, develop strategies to help their residents understand the value of broadband, and drive innovation with technological solutions.
The Broadband 101 Fact Sheet is a useful reference for those who may not be familiar with all of the technical aspects of telecommunications.
Closing the Digital Divide: Promoting Broadband Adoption Among Underserved Populations, 2012: Examines the challenges and benefits of broadband adoption and summarizes current efforts to address these challenges at the U.S. federal, state and local levels as well as in the private sector.
Gig City, U.S.A.: Bringing Google Fiber to Kansas City, 2012: Explores Google’s initiative to bring ultra-fast internet connection speeds to Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. This series was developed in partnership with Next American City.
Using Technology to Enhance Communities' Engagement with Public Safety, 2012: Focuses on the strategies of interfacing, crowdsourcing, broadcasting and mapping for public safety initiatives.
Investing in Your City’s IT Infrastructure, 2010: Provides examples of how cities are working to expand or update their technological infrastructure, reduce costs and increase efficiency to meet their communities’ needs.
Using Technology to Promote Transparency in City Government, 2010: Provides examples of how cities can work to increase transparency in their day-to-day practices.
Local Broadband Initiatives: Finding a Model that Works for You, 2013: Provides an overview of the types of public-private partnerships that exist for local broadband initiatives.
Lessons Learned from BTOP: Broadband Adoption Strategies from Around the Country, 2013: Features highlights from the newly-released Broadband Adoption Toolkit explores examples of broadband adoption programs by Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant recipients.
Leveraging New Technology to Explore Wireless Broadband: Distribute Antenna Systems and Small Cell Deployments, 2013: Describes how these new technologies can help expand wireless broadband in how these new technologies communities.
Data Analytics: How Cities Can Get Ahead of the Curve to Improve Performance, 2013: Provides an overview of how cities are using data across a range of core municipal services – safety, inspections, health, and others –and talks about how these examples can be adapted to communities across the country.
Firstnet and What it Means for Local Communities, 2013: Provides an overview of State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) and information for local elected officials on how to engage with their states in the development of a nationwide public safety broadband network.
Councilmember Scott Somers, City of Mesa, AZ, speaking on FirstNet at NLC's 2013 Summer Policy Forum
How Broadband Access in Santa Monica has Impacted Local Economic Development, 2012: Presents a case study on the city of Santa Monica, CA and how a strong telecommunications infrastructure is helping drive the city's economic development.
The National Broadband Map: An Economic Development Tool for Cities, 2012: Provides information on how local elected officials can use the National Broadband Map (NBM), an interactive tool assess a community's internet connectivity.
How a Municipal Network Can Help Your City, 2012: Features examples of how 3 cities developed strategies to implement a municipal broadband network and how these lessons can be adopted to other communities.
Shared Services: The San Carlos, CA Experience, 2012: Highlights how San Carlos lead a successful shared services approach to address budget challenges and community service needs.
Is Cloud Computing Right for Your Community? Leading Practices for Local Officials, 2011: Explores the use of cloud computing in local governments.
Mobile Applications, 2010: Two-part webinar that looks at how mobile applications are opening up new channels of communication and dialog with the public.
Technologies to Increase Government Transparency, 2010: Examines the technology tools and practices city governments are using to provide real-time information to citizens and increase their transparency.
For additional information on local policies to increase government transparency, please visit the Sunlight Foundation.
NLC Corporate Partners - A list of the National League of Cities Corporate Partners which focus on technology and communications services:
Black & Veatch
Citi for Cities
FEDERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE RESOURCES
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) - NTIA provides resources to cities on a variety of broadband access and adoption issues:
Broadband Adoption Research: Federal research and data on broadband adoption in the U.S.
Broadband Adoption Toolkit: Resource guide of best practices from BTOP broadband adoption and digital literacy projects
Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP): Information on the implementation of BTOP grants
Connecting America’s Communities: Map of BTOP projects around the country
Digital Literacy: Resources gathered from federal agencies and other sources.
National Broadband Map: A tool to search, analyze and map broadband availability across the U.S.
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy: White House office which explores the effects of science and technology on domestic and international issues.
Broadband Communities Magazine - Monthly publication with information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities.
Connect2Compete - National non-profit organization that helps citizens access technology by offering digital training programs, discounted broadband access and low-cost computers.
Data-Smart City Solutions, Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School - Explores the impact of data-focused projects for local governments.
Fiber to the Home Council - Non-profit association of companies and and organizations that advocacate for high-bandwidth, next-generation, direct fiber option connections.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) - Non-profit organization working to provide innovative strategies for community development; work on broadband can be found at Community Broadband Networks.
Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center, Center for Internet Security - Provides resources on cyber security issues.
National Association of State Chief Information Officers - Membership association for state chief information and technology officers.
OCLC WebJunction - Provides resources to public library staff and has done extensive work on the importance of digital inclusion.
Public Technology Institute - Membership association for municipal chief information and technology officers.
Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition - Coalition to promote policies and programs to enable schools, libraries and other anchor institutions to obtain open, affordable, high-speed, broadband access.
Sunlight Foundation - Non-profit organization providing resources to help improve government transparency.