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Mayor Walsh Joins Over 30 Cities Calling on FCC to Improve Broadband Network Performance Measures

June 17, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Next Century Cities and City Leaders Release Letter in Support of GAO Report

BOSTON- Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today  joined mayors and elected officials from 34 communities to call for uniform and accessible reporting on broadband network performance.  The letter, coordinated by Next Century Cities, was prompted by the findings of a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “BROADBAND PERFORMANCE: Additional Actions Could Help FCC Evaluate its Efforts to Inform Consumers.”

“Our residents deserve access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet services,” said Mayor Walsh. “Consumers need access to clear, impartial information about the broadband services they buy, and the City needs tools to measure the quality of broadband services in Boston. The Government Accountability Office report highlighted the importance of standardized measurement for broadband network performance, and all should have to abide by its guidelines.”

Boston is a member of Next Century Cities, a city-to-city initiative founded to support communities and their elected leaders as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet.

“The GAO report offers an opportunity to assess how we measure network performance,” said Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities. “If we are truly committed to ensuring access to fast, affordable, and reliable broadband Internet, we need to think seriously about how we measure speed, cost, and reliability, and how we communicate this information to consumers.”

In support of this effort to provide clarity and transparency in the provision of broadband services, Boston joined other member communities, including Syracuse, N.Y., New Haven, Conn., Roanoke, Va., and Hagerstown, Md., in writing the FCC, saying:

“Efforts to develop this core infrastructure are impeded when our citizens are unable to accurately gauge the quality and speed of their Internet…As broadband Internet becomes increasingly critical to the well-being of towns and cities across the country, being able to reliably measure and compare network performance will help to ensure that we, as elected leaders, are delivering the essential infrastructure our communities need."