76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008



WHEREAS, the United States was the birthplace of the Internet, and in the 1990s it was a global leader in broadband deployment and technology innovation; and

WHEREAS, since 2001, the United States has plunged from fourth place in the world in per capita broadband deployment to as low as 19th place in some surveys, and has also fallen in global rankings among industrialized countries with respect to download/upload and affordability; and

WHEREAS, broadband is no longer a luxury for our communities – it is a necessity and an essential service; just as our citizens have come to expect world-class transportation, water, electricity, sewer and other critical infrastructure, they are now demanding access to an advanced digital infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, access to and use of advanced Internet applications is critically important for the economic, social and civic growth of individuals and families; and

WHEREAS, broadband is critical to the health of our local economies and our ability to compete on a global scale; the Brookings Institution has estimated that the nation’s broadband decline could lead to a potential loss of $1 trillion in economic productivity over the next decade, as well as more than 1.2 million jobs that could be created by better broadband; and

WHEREAS, residents and visitors to U.S. cities require high speed connections in order to compete in the 21st Century global economy; and

WHEREAS, broadband is also critical for our local governments to protect and serve; events like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and others have demonstrated that our ability to communicate within and across various agencies has a dramatic impact on our ability to respond; and

WHEREAS, mayors of major cities across the U.S. have become aware that the current deployment of broadband of the highest-speed tiers by incumbent providers is not guided by any national broadband policy and has so far resulted in little urban deployment; and

WHEREAS, reclaiming the United States’ worldwide leadership in this area will take an unprecedented cooperation between all levels of government, the private sector, and community-based organizations,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that if U.S. cities are to thrive as engines of economic growth and be globally competitive in the 21st Century, then the Administration, Congress and the FCC should take action now to develop a comprehensive national broadband policy that includes high speed broadband deployment to cities as an imperative; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the national broadband policy should support measures to preserve the ability of local governments to provide broadband capability and services within their communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that said national broadband policy should ensure that the speed of Internet access available to American consumers, enterprises and institutions is comparable to that available in the most advanced industrialized nations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that said national broadband policy should ensure that these high-speed Internet services are ubiquitous in availability to all American households in all neighborhoods; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that said national broadband policy should ensure that affordable high-speed Internet access is attainable for all American consumers and families; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if American cities are to undertake appropriate and necessary broadband planning, the FCC should immediately begin collecting detailed information on broadband coverage and use and share said data with local governments as such information is a matter of public concern; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Administration, Congress and the FCC should work with local governments to facilitate an expansion of resources to speed the development of affordable globally-competitive infrastructure in American cities