Announcing the Coalition for Local Internet Choice

  • Local Internet Choice
WASHINGTON — A group of broadband industry leaders has formed a new organization, the Coalition for Local Internet Choice, to protect the rights of local communities to determine their economic futures by having the right and opportunity to choose for themselves the best broadband Internet infrastructure for their businesses, institutions and residents. This diverse coalition of public and private entities is lead by Jim Baller, president, Joanne Hovis, CEO, Chris Mitchell, senior advisor and Catharine Rice, project director.

The Board of Advisors brings together a broad spectrum of interests and expertise:

  • Edyael Casaperalta, programs and research associate, Center for Rural Strategies

  • Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist, Google Inc.

  • Sharon Gillett, principal strategist, technology policy, Microsoft

  • Lev Gonick, CEO, One Community

  • Blair Levin, executive director, Gig.U

  • Matthew Rantanen, director of technology, Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA)

Why Local Internet Choice?
The Coalition for Local Internet Choice asserts that modern Internet infrastructure is foundational to the economic futures of our communities — as well as the democratic discourse that thrives on the Internet. Meeting the challenge of enabling that infrastructure will require the engagement of all parties, both private and public. As Senator John McCain said on the Senate floor during the introduction of the Community Broadband Act in 2005, “As a country, we cannot afford to cut off any successful strategy if we want to remain internationally competitive.”

  • Local communities have centuries of experience fostering public-private partnerships to stimulate deployment of modern local infrastructure and economic development

  • Local communities should have the right to decide the future educational opportunities for their children and healthcare options for their aging populations

  • Local communities, through their elected local officials, have deep experience in evaluating and making significant capital investments in infrastructure projects of all kinds

  • Local communities have a 20-year record of using fiber broadband infrastructure to stimulate local innovation and economic development, including being the first entities to invest in fiber infrastructure to serve schools and libraries with gigabit speeds

  • Local governments have vast experience in operating communications networks that support public safety first responders

  • Local communities prioritize reducing the local digital divide and ensuring that no one in the community should go without internet access

  • Local communities should decide their own economic (broadband) future


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