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Somerville assembling Internet Access Task Force

Somerville is seeking community members to serve on a new task force that will explore ways to preserve and expand affordable and accessible Internet service.

The Internet Access Task Force will meet over a year and formulate recommendations on such subjects as increasing service provider competition, establishing a municipal or quasi-public provider, and developing policies that encourage equitable access and service. The city is also seeking experts in areas such as public utilities, small cell technology, and federal communications policy to serve as occasional or one-time advisers.

“Internet access has become a necessity of modern life,” Mayor Joseph Curtatone said in a statement. “The Internet provides access to job opportunities, educational resources, instant communication, and a wealth of knowledge that everyone should be able to access. Through the Internet Access Task Force’s work, we hope to find innovative new ways to expand Internet service and remove cost barriers for our residents.”

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The panel also will look for ways to encourage or require net neutrality in Somerville.

Anyone who would like to serve on the task force is asked to send a brief letter of interest to Meghann Ackerman at mackerman@somervillema.gov by Friday, Feb. 23.

John Laidler can be reached at john.laidler@globe.com.