January 25, 2021
A Statement from Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
Today the National Hispanic Media Coalition filed comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the agency to roll out the Emergency Broadband program, created by Congress last month, in the most inclusive way possible. Access to the internet is more crucial than ever, as a majority of this country’s population is relying upon broadband infrastructure and service to work, learn, access essential goods, socialize, and engage in civic activities. NHMC supports the Commission’s establishment of an Emergency Broadband program, and urges immediate equitable implementation to ease the burdens faced by communities hardest hit by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
In particular, NHMC urges the Commission to fulfill the purpose of the Emergency Broadband program–to connect as many people affected by the pandemic as possible–by expanding its eligibility, and modifying its internal process to be more inclusive of immigrants and mixed-imigration-status families and households. The Emergency Broadband program should encourage competition in the broadband marketplace, and require transparency in pricing for all Internet Service Providers who participate in it. Finally, NHMC recommends the Commission prioritize those who are hardest hit by the pandemic in the program’s public awareness campaign by ensuring that advertising is rolled out in many languages and in culturally appropriate ways.
With limited funds, this program has the potential to help millions of families stay connected during a critical time. NHMC looks forward to the implementation of the Emergency Broadband program as a first step in bringing access to the internet to all–as a human right.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition