WASHINGTON, DC --The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, One Economy and ZeroDivide submitted a letter in support of the broadband adoption and utilization recommendations issued this morning by the Federal Communications Commission. The Commission is preparing to deliver the first-ever National Broadband Plan to Congress on March 17.
The letter is signed by more than 30 organizations, representing a broad range of the American public: from the National Urban League and Communication Workers of America, to the National Black Programming Consortium, Connected Nation and the Benton Foundation.
The letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski states:
We appreciate the intensive fact gathering and numerous public workshops conducted by the Commission as it sought to better understand the issues facing non-adopters of broadband. The Commission’s field hearings and the extensive opportunity for comment through public notices and blogs have provided the American people with many opportunities to contribute to the Plan.
You have stated that while broadband alone is not the solution to any of the major challenges facing our country, it is part of the solution to almost all of them. We agree. We also agree that in order to maximize the country’s benefit from broadband, we must work to increase the level of broadband adoption, particularly among, low-income populations, minority communities, older Americans, people with disabilities and other groups that have low rates of broadband adoption.
The Commission’s research that helped frame the Plan’s recommendations has proven invaluable as it identified critical barriers to adoption that must be addressed: cost, digital literacy, and lack of awareness of relevant content.
Leaving one-third of America without broadband at home is not acceptable in an era when high-speed access is a pathway to education, self-improvement, civic participation, and economic growth. Collectively, we look forward to working with the FCC and other stakeholders in bringing life to these recommendations.
The plan’s adoption and utilization recommendations are targeted, collaborative, and local, a focus that is required to produce meaningful results. We are heartened that the FCC clearly understands that government alone cannot solve the nation’s adoption gaps.
The nonprofit and foundation communities, state and local governments, and the private sector all have an interest in increased adoption, and all must play a constructive role.
To learn more about the National Broadband Plan’s Adoption Recommendations, see the FCC’s latest release “Strategies to Increase Broadband Adoption & Use Gain Support” (http://www.fcc.gov/)
List of Signers includes:
Alliance for Community Media
Asian American Justice Center
Bay Area Video Coalition
California Center for Rural Policy
Center for Asian American Media
Center for Economic Progress
Center for Rural Strategies
Center for Working Families (Atlanta)
Common Sense Media
Communication Workers of America
DB Consulting Group, Inc.
Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)
Housing Assistance Council
Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention (IAACP)
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Lawndale Community Wireless Network
League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture
National Association of Counties
National Black Programming Consortium
National Coalition Black Women’s Roundtable
National Public Lightpath
National Urban League
Neighborhood Technology Resource Center
Older Adults Technology Services (OATS)
One Economy Corporation
Open Technology Initiative
Progressive States Network
Rural Broadband Policy Group
Southern California Tribal Digital Village
Strategic Health Resources LLC
Woogi World, Inc.
About The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies:
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is one of the nation's leading research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses primarily on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color. The Joint Center will mark its 40th Anniversary of service in 2010. To learn more, please visit www.jointcenter.org. On February 25, the Joint Center issued a groundbreaking report, National Minority Broadband Adoption: Comparative Trends in Adoption, Acceptance and Use, which is available at www.jointcenter.org.
About One Economy:
One Economy Corporation is a global nonprofit organization that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people, giving them valuable tools for building better lives. We help bring broadband into the homes of low-income people, employ youth to train their community members to use technology effectively, and provide public-purpose media properties that offer a wealth of information on education, jobs, health care and other vital issues. For more information, please visit www.one-economy.com.
ZeroDivide is working in collaboration with communities to expand broadband availability and adoption. ZeroDivide's investments in underserved communities create groundbreaking enterprises, capture important but suppressed voices, distribute content in diverse ways, and collectively influence policies and practices to enhance and mobilize community-based assets for social change. For more information, please visit www.zerodivide.org.
Contact: Betty Anne Williams, 202-789-3505