81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

SUPPORT INCREASED ACCESS TO BROADBAND AND SPECTRUM

WHEREAS, mayors believe that robust, ubiquitous, affordable, and open broadband Internet access is essential to encourage innovation, drive economic growth, and remain competitive in a global economy; and

WHEREAS, the US continues to face challenges on broadband adoption and affordability; and

WHEREAS, a substantial number of individuals in poor and rural communities have limited Internet access and in those communities where broadband access is limited, our citizens have limited access to information, education, and the tools for economic independence; and

WHEREAS, public-private partnerships have been created to encourage the expansion of broadband infrastructure and increase access to gigabit-speed broadband in some cities; while in other communities, local government has chosen to provide affordable broadband access; and

WHEREAS, speeds of one gigabit per second are approximately 100 times faster than the average fixed high-speed Internet connection, creating the capacity to handle  multiple streams of large-format, high-definition content to support real-time public  safety systems, innovative public transportation solutions, smart energy grids,  medical image sharing and telemedicine, and immersive educational experiences; and

WHEREAS, an increasing necessity on Internet connectivity requires that we maintain affordable prices for broadband access; and

WHEREAS, wireless usage has increased dramatically, placing greater demand on both licensed and unlicensed spectrum, and adding additional capacity is essential to support continued wireless innovation and introduce new wireless technologies; and

WHEREAS, estimates place the value created by current applications of unlicensed spectrum at up to $37 billion dollars a year in the United States,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors supports the Federal Communications Commission's Gigabit Cities Challenge and move to allocate additional spectrum for unlicensed use in order to meet increased demand for wireless technologies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on mayors to utilize the new Commission resources and create plans to establish more gigabit test bed communities around the country; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors encourages further availability of Internet for low-income households through the support of low-cost plans, including access provided by local governments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the critically important E-rate program be strengthened and modernized in an effort to ensure schools and libraries have access to the best possible broadband technologies available from either the public or private sector; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors supports best practices that result in increased access to affordable broadband services such as: publishing data on existing above and below ground infrastructure (such as poles, conduit, and mounting assets) that do not need to be protected, or the revealing of which will not jeopardize public safety, continuing to make rights of way and utility poles available on nondiscriminatory terms, installing fiber conduit and providing space on poles for new attachers consistent with local zoning; and


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013