FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2017
National Hispanic Media Coalition Urges FCC and Congress to Protect Net Neutrality and the Open Internet
In Advance of Senate FCC Oversight Hearing, Public Interest Advocates Strongly Support Open Internet Order Established Two Years Ago
Washington, DC – Today, the National Hispanic Media Coalition released a letter they signed with more than 170 public interest organizations on the eve of the Senate Commerce Committee’s first Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Oversight Hearing of 2017. The letter addressed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and Ranking Member Bill Nelson calls for the protection of the free and open internet. The letter urges these leaders to support and continue to enforce the 2015 Open Internet Order and to oppose legislative and regulatory actions that would threaten the strong net neutrality rules already in place.
Read the letter here: http://bit.ly/2mfeHQw
“The FCC’s reclassification of broadband under Title II has empowered the Latino community and allowed us to foster entrepreneurship, authentic storytelling, and participate in politics – all without being beholden to the traditional internet gatekeepers,” said Carmen Scurato, director of policy and legal affairs at the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “Title II also laid the groundwork for FCC’s modernization of the Lifeline program, allowing low-income families to use their monthly subsidy towards broadband services. The harsh reality is that with all the opportunities the internet provides, only half of Latinos are connected to broadband. We must preserve Title II and the FCC’s legal authority to ensure that we can bridge the digital divide.”
“Protecting net neutrality is crucial to ensuring that the internet remains a central driver of economic growth and opportunity, job creation, education, free expression, and civic organizing for everyone,” the letter reads. “The continuation of net neutrality is essential to the continued growth of the country and to ensuring access to social, political, and economic empowerment for all.”
The 171 signers include a diverse group of consumer protection, media rights, technology, library, arts, content creators, civil liberties, and civil rights advocates concerned with protecting the principles of net neutrality, which have made the internet the engine of opportunity and free speech it is today.
Just over two years ago, the FCC passed the Open Internet Order after a process in which millions of Americans submitted comments in support of strong net neutrality protections. Since that time, businesses have continued innovating on the internet, financial reports prove that internet service providers are seeing record increases in business revenue and are continuing to invest in infrastructure, and social movements of all types are engaging with communities across the country using the freedom they have to mobilize online.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications. Receive real-time updates on Facebook, Twitter @NHMC and Instagram @NHMC_org.