WASHINGTON - The League of United Latin American Citizens is encouraged by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s announcement of proposed rules that will preserve the open, vibrant Internet while ensuring that the costs of broadband deployment are not shifted onto the backs of consumers. The announcement should serve as a blueprint for compromise on Net Neutrality and allow the FCC to refocus attention on its National Broadband Plan which LULAC believes should be the agency’s number one priority.
“Chairman Genachowski today indicated that the FCC is close to resolving this important debate and will issue a draft order that appears to be based on Chairman Waxman’s legislation, which LULAC has already endorsed,” said Margaret Moran, LULAC National President. “We find this to be a good compromise to the complex challenge of how to best regulate the internet through the preservation of important net neutrality principles, while securing an environment that encourages access, adoption and continued investment in our digital future.”
As we have long maintained, Americans on the wrong side of the Digital Divide - as well as those who stretch their thin budgets to subscribe today - can ill afford to shoulder the $350 billion price tag for deploying the next generation of high-speed pipes throughout the nation. LULAC had early expressed concern to the FCC that if net neutrality rules barred innovative partnerships between content providers and internet service providers, consumers would be left to pick up the entire tab of the broadband build out to the homes—a prospect that we find unacceptable.
President Obama has repeatedly stressed the importance of broadband Internet access for job creation, skills training and education. For Latinos, who make up a disproportionate amount of America's unemployed, the stakes could not be much higher. We're encouraged by the FCC’s proposal and we anxiously await its details. In addition, we believe it is important for Congress to weigh in on this issue to ensure that the FCC is given clear authority to enforce these rules given recent court decisions that have cast doubt on the extent of the FCC’s ability to regulate broadband.
“As seen in our 60 community technology centers, Hispanic Americans use broadband to connect to critically important tools and resources that dramatically improve the quality of their lives. A level-headed regulatory framework will ensure that members of the Latino community benefit from enhanced access to robust and reliable networks,” stated Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director. “With only 24% of Spanish dominant households having broadband access in their homes, it is absolutely critical that the FCC conclude its work on net neutrality and return its focus to implementation of the National Broadband Plan which aims to provide 100% broadband access to all Americans.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating through 880 LULAC councils nationwide.