The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) commended the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) historic vote on Thursday, February 26th to adopt strong Net Neutrality rules that use the FCC’s authority under Title II to prohibit blocking, throttling and paid prioritization online.
“This is a historic day. As people of color we have come to rely on the Open Internet to educate ourselves, organize for social change, engage in the political process and push back against a history of discrimination and exclusion in traditional media. I applaud the FCC majority for sifting through the nonsense arguments of a few Internet service providers and their massive team of lobbyists and siding with the American people for a truly Open Internet,” said NHMC‘s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Jessica J. González.
FCC promotes competition and access, granting petitions allowing certain communities to provide their own broadband Internet access
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote last Thursday will allow communities to bring faster, fiber Internet to their residents. The FCC’s decision granted petitions filed by two municipal broadband providers that asked the agency to preempt parts of state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that restricted the communities’ abilities to provide broadband services.
Although the approval is narrow, applying only to the Chattanooga, TN and Wilson, NC communities that submitted the petitions, it is a major step in promoting competition and access to broadband.
“The FCC’s ruling sets groundbreaking precedent for other communities that may want to provide their own broadband Internet access where industry Internet service providers (ISPs) fall short,” said Jessica Gonzalez, NHMC‘s Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
“Twenty states have laws that limit or prohibit broadband competition. Many of those laws were influenced or even proposed by industry lobbyists. This decision is a significant step toward promoting and protecting access for Latinos and other people of color and is part of the foundation for bridging the digital divide,” she continued.
Seventeen percent (55 million) of Americans lack access to advanced broadband, but the numbers are even greater in the Latino community where only 53% have adopted broadband at home. Cost is one of the most prohibitive factors keeping people on the wrong side of the digital divide.
But because municipalities are nonprofit, they are able to offer faster, cheaper broadband Internet access to their communities. Among the many benefits of community broadband, studies show increased competition results in incumbent providers lowering their prices, too, making broadband more affordable for everyone.
NHMC is dedicated to advocating for universal and affordable connections and supports policies that lead to increased industry competition and lower prices. Click HERE to learn more about NHMC‘s work in this area.