Originally published: February 15, 2010
Last updated: February 15, 2010 - 4:08pm
[Commentary] As the Federal Communications Commission moves to quickly finalize a National Broadband Plan that many hope will ensure Internet access for all and create opportunity for innovation and economic security, community groups from around the country are hosting delegation visits, direct actions, and community events to ask the same question I am. Namely, why are Telecom companies and their beltway allies asking poor communities and communities of color to choose between fair representation and access to high speed Internet networks? Why can't we have both?
Unfortunately, if the FCC and Congress don't act decisively to protect broadband networks with strong Open Internet rules, the National Broadband Plan may be insufficient to secure the connection, communication, and cultural representation that is the Internet's greatest potential. Let's face it, a broadband plan without open Internet protections is like the constitution without the bill of rights- it's insufficient. It's time for a new generation of civil right leaders to be heard on this issue. We know that digital inclusion and closing the digital divide is only possible with affordable, accessible, and open high speed networks. True representation of people of color and the poor demands that the civil rights community fight for this as vigorously as we fight for equal access in our schools, services, and in the broader society.
- The Strongest Open Internet Protections Possible: Yes, We Can.
- The Internet Must Not Become a Segregated Community
- Who Will Defend the Rights of People of Color to an Open Internet? We Speak for Ourselves.
- The FCC's role in getting Internet access to all
- Telecom firms' donations to minority groups criticized as FCC considers network neutrality rules
- 31st Annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunication Lecture and Awards Breakfast
- Convening of Diverse Voices on Power, Justice, and Media Change
- How the NAACP is Promoting Broadband Adoption
- Low Income Cell Phone Customers Can Think for Themselves
- The Internet Strikes Back: Why the Internet Needs Jedi Knights
- Expanding and Accelerating the Adoption and Use of Broadband Throughout the Economy
- They don't speak for all minorities on Network Neutrality
- Minority groups coalesce to focus on broadband
- How the Joint Center is Promoting Broadband Adoption
- Civil Rights, Privacy, and Consumer Organizations Call on the FCC to Adopt Key Goals of National Broadband Plan