STATEMENT: Chairman Pai’s Net Neutrality Plan Would Disadvantage Latinos, Allow Corporations to Rake in Greater Profit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2017

CONTACT
Clarissa Corona
213.718.0732
communications@nhmc.org

Chairman Pai’s Net Neutrality Plan Would Disadvantage Latinos, Allow Corporations to Rake in Greater Profit

Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced his plans to kill net neutrality in a speech at the Newseum hosted by FreedomWorks and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council. In his remarks, “The Future of Internet Regulation,” the Chairman explained how he would launch a proceeding to reclassify broadband as an information service. Simply, this plan seeks to destroy the legal foundation of the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order.

Said Carmen Scurato, director of policy and legal affairs at the National Hispanic Media Coalition:

“Moving forward with Chairman Pai’s plan would be a loss for Americans everywhere. Dismantling net neutrality opens the door for corporations to limit free expression, organizing efforts, educational opportunities and entrepreneurship by imposing a new toll to access information online. It would also undermine the ability of low-income Americans to get and stay online, as the Lifeline Program that supports broadband discounts would also be jettisoned in Pai’s vision to make the internet work for giant Internet Service Providers, at the expense of consumers.

“For Latinos and other people of color, who have long been misrepresented or underrepresented by traditional media outlets, an open internet is the primary destination for our communities to share our stories in our own words–without being blocked by powerful gatekeepers motivated by profit. For all of us, the right to communicate freely online is at risk and millions will raise their voices against Pai’s plan to reverse our collective work to affirm net neutrality and extend the Lifeline Program to a greater number of people.”

Chairman Pai’s plan ignores the four million public comments sent to the FCC in 2015 to preserve net neutrality, supported by years of advocacy and educational work by NHMC and allies, which led to the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband as a Title II service. Internet Service Providers (ISPs), like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, are now considered common carriers and have obligations to ensure that all internet traffic is treated equality. Title II has been found to be the most viable legal framework for the FCC to withstand legal challenges and assert its authority over broadband, a fact that was upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court less than a year ago.

More on NHMC’s work to protect net neutrality:

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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.

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