Yesterday in Minneapolis, CLIC awarded Gigi Sohn, Counselor to FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, the 2016 Local Internet Choice National Champion award. What follows are Ms. Sohn’s keynote luncheon remarks following that award, on the topic of the Future of Local Internet Choice:
Thank you, Jim and Joanne. It’s great to be here with all of you today. Just for the record, even though we’re in Minnesota and he’s now a Nobel Prize winner, I won’t be quoting any Bob Dylan lyrics. Frankly, if I were going to quote a musician from this state it would be Prince…because, of course, I prefer the genius who was 5 foot 2.
Seriously, I am honored to receive the National Champion for Local Internet Choice Award. And I am humbled to be recognized alongside the other award winners, each of whom have been remarkable leaders in the nationwide effort to give communities the power to decide their broadband futures.
Special congratulations to the honorees – and all of you – who wrestle with this issue at the state and local levels. Yes, it’s important that lawmakers and public servants like me try to make good policy. But you, my friends, are working every day in the trenches – in state legislatures, city council rooms, comptrollers’ offices and in actual trenches building gigabit networks that serve your communities. You are the heart and soul and muscle of this movement. I share this award with all of you working day to day to ensure that all Americans can benefit from what high-speed broadband enables.
It’s been an amazing three years at the FCC, and with the election just three weeks away, it’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished. So in keeping with the theme of the day, I’d like to talk about how far the movement for local Internet choice has come and where I see it going in the future. It is indisputable that during these three years, enormous progress has been made. But even so, we have a long way to go to until all local communities have the authority to make their own broadband Internet choices.
See her full speech here.