City of Champaign Joined Next-Generation Broadband Communities to Launch Next Century Cities

Mayor Don Gerard announced Champaign as a leading member of national initiative to advance fast, affordable, reliable Internet

This morning, Champaign was featured in the launch of Next Century Cities, a bipartisan, city-to-city initiative dedicated to ensuring the availability of next-generation broadband Internet for all communities. For more information on Next Century Cities, visit “As we bridge the digital divide, there will be astonishing advances in health, life safety, entertainment, commerce and virtually every other imaginable facet of our lives. When we begin to share and exchange information, as both downloaders and uploaders, the American Dream will be within reach for all those participating in this brave new era,” stated Mayor Don Gerard.

“Across the country, we’re seeing cities hungry to deploy high-speed Internet to transform communities and connect residents to better jobs, better health care, and better education for their children,” said Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities. “Mayor Don Gerard is joining with other leaders across the country to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Next Century Cities is committed to celebrating these successes, demonstrating their value, and helping other cities to realize the full power of truly high-speed, affordable, and accessible broadband.”

Next Century Cities is a new initiative of 31 cities nationwide joining together to recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit-level Internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, and connect residents to new opportunities.

Together with Champaign, Next Century Cities will support communities and their elected leaders, including mayors and other officials, as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet. Participating cities will work with each other to learn about what works – and what doesn’t – so that every community has access to information that can help them succeed. Cities will also work together to raise awareness of this important issue to all Americans.

Today’s launch, held at a dynamic coworking space for Santa Monica’s technology companies, convened mayors and other leaders from cities, including Austin Texas, Boston Massachusetts, and Louisville Kentucky for a cross-cutting discussion of what’s worked in their cities and how to expand fast and reliable Internet nationwide.

Founding city leaders agreed on the importance of next-generation broadband for thriving 21st century communities. The launch event also featured a group discussion among additional mayors, a demonstration of the potential of gigabit Internet connections for cities, and a panel with leading technology officials.

Next Century Cities: Inaugural Partner Cities:
 Ammon, ID
 Auburn, IN
 Austin, TX
 Boston, MA
 Centennial, CO
 Champaign, IL
 Chattanooga, TN
 Clarksville, TN
 Jackson, TN
 Kansas City, KS
 Kansas City, MO
 Lafayette, LA  Leverett, MA
 Louisville, KY
 Montrose, CO
 Morristown, TN
 Mount Vernon, WA
 Palo Alto, CA
 Ponca City, OK
 Portland, OR
 Raleigh, NC
 Rockport, ME
 San Antonio, TX
 Sandy, OR
 Santa Cruz County, CA
 Santa Monica, CA
 South Portland, ME
 Urbana, IL
 Westminster, MD
 Wilson, NC
 Winthrop, MN