NHMC Commends President Obama for Standing with Millions of Consumers for Strong Network Neutrality Rules

For Immediate Release
November 10, 2014

            Contact
Brian Pacheco, NHMC
bpacheco@www.nhmc.org
(213) 718-0732 (m)
(626) 792-6462 (o)

NHMC Commends President Obama for Standing with Millions of Consumers for Strong Network Neutrality Rules

President Recognizes That Internet Access Is a Necessity, Urges FCC to Reclassify Internet Service Providers as Utilities

WASHINGTON – Today, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) applauded President Obama for standing with millions of consumers in support of strong network neutrality rules and “reclassification.” In a statement and accompanying video, the President laid out a path to protect consumers on the Internet. NHMC wholeheartedly supports the President’s plan, and urges the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use it as a starting point as it attempts to craft new rules.

In his statement, the President encouraged the FCC to adopt rules to prevent Internet service providers (cable and telephone companies that provide access to the Internet) from blocking and throttling Internet traffic and to ban paid prioritization, a practice that would create Internet fast lanes for the wealthy and slow lanes for the vast majority of consumers. In addition, the President urged the FCC to protect all consumers from these practices, regardless of whether they access the Internet through mobile devices or home broadband connections. Finally, the President recognized that the Internet has become a basic necessity that is, like electricity or telephone service, a utility – and urged the FCC to regulate it as such under “reclassification,” a legal approach whereby the FCC would regulate Internet service providers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

NHMC has a long history of advocating for reclassifying Internet service under Title II, as have hundreds of other non-profit organizations and millions of Americans, who earlier this year flooded the FCC with public comments. Dozens of civil rights organizations have come out in support of this approach due to the democratizing opportunity the Internet provides as a catalyst for social justice.

“If you care about equality for all people, you should care very deeply about this issue,” stated NHMC’s president and CEO, Alex Nogales. “Network neutrality is one of the foremost civil rights issues in the digital age, and I commend President Obama for reiterating his support for real network neutrality and reclassification as the FCC closes in on a decision.”

“This is excellent news but we must keep pushing,” said NHMC’s policy director, Michael Scurato. “Today, the FCC revealed that, as recently as last week, it was exploring a so-called ‘hybrid plan’ that we believe would not adequately protect consumers and is at odds with what the President indicated that he thinks is necessary earlier today.”

“Six months ago reclassification seemed dead in the water, but now, after millions raised their voices, the President of the United States is putting his full weight behind it,” Scurato added. “If the FCC does not adopt this bounded, common sense approach, strong network neutrality rules are unlikely to survive inevitable legal challenges.  I encourage everyone to continue making their feelings known, by signing this petition to tell the FCC you support the President’s proposal. Ideally, the FCC will act with haste and get new rules on the book, grounded in Title II legal authority, by the end of the year.”

For more details about NHMC’s advocacy on this issue, including a short video featuring beloved actor Edward James Olmos in support of network neutrality, visit www.nhmc.org/openinternet.

To view a fact sheet outlining basic information on why network neutrality is critical for Latinos, and why real network neutrality cannot survive unless underpinned by reclassification, click here.

For a primer on the issue of network neutrality, view a five-minute New York Times op-doc featuring NHMC’s Jessica J. González here.

Para información en español, visita a esta página.

 

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