FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2015
Brian Pacheco, NHMC
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday morning, Jessica J. González, executive vice president and general counsel of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives to urge Congress to allow the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to complete its Open Internet rulemaking process. The hearing, entitled “Protecting the Internet and Consumers Through Congressional Action,” will be convened by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Communications & Technology at 10:00 a.m. EST.
To view a live online stream of the hearing or to access more information, including a full list of witnesses and their written testimonies, click here. González’s full written testimony is available here.
“The Open Internet has allowed Americans to engage in our democracy at a whole new level,” González will testify. “This is democracy and free speech at work and it is a virtue deserving of the strongest protections.”
During her testimony, González will underscore the importance of implementing Open Internet rules under Title II of the Communications Act. She will also urge Congress to allow the FCC to complete its rulemaking process for open Internet rules to protect consumers best. Moreover, González will call attention to the lack of sufficient protections for consumers and the Internet in draft Congressional legislation circulated prior to the hearing.
The House hearing comes weeks before the FCC’s vote on Open Internet rules at its February 26 meeting.
Recently, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hinted the Commission is leaning toward enacting Open Internet rules under Title II. Such rules would allow the FCC to treat Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as common carriers thereby preventing unreasonable discrimination and blocking online.
Nearly seven million people, including hundreds of Internet companies, dozens of Latino organizations and leaders, dozens of Members of Congress, as well as President Barack Obama, have spoken out for protecting the Open Internet under Title II.
NHMC has long recognized that preserving the Open Internet is one of the foremost civil rights issues of the digital age. For Latinos and other traditionally disadvantaged Americans, the Open Internet is vital for many reasons, including telling their own stories in light of a mainstream media that continues to exclude or portray them stereotypically. Without protections to preserve an open Internet, nothing will prevent ISPs from ruining the experience of Internet users by slowing down access to their favorite websites or blocking access altogether.
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. Learn more at www.nhmc.org. Receive real-time updates on Facebookand Twitter @NHMC.