#MobileOnly Challenge to Kickoff in January 2018, Protesting FCC's Plan to Lower Broadband Quality Standards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2017

CONTACT: Clarissa Corona 213.718.0732 communications@nhmc.org

#MobileOnly Challenge to Kickoff in January 2018, Protesting FCC’s Plan to Lower Broadband Quality Standards

FCC Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel to Participate, Accessing Internet Only on Mobile Device For One Day

December 18, 2017 (Washington, DC) — Ten public interest organizations focused on high-quality broadband for all Americans announced today that they will be leading a #MobileOnly Challenge in January and asking Americans to participate. The Challenge will call attention to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal to lower broadband standards and consider an internet connection on a single mobile device the same as a “fixed” broadband connection at someone’s home. The National Hispanic Media Coalition released the following statement from Carmen Scurato, vice president of policy and general counsel: “Access to reliable high-speed Internet is critical to participating in our economy, democracy, and society. Yet the reality is that many rural and poor communities lack that vital access. And for over 20 percent of Latinos, mobile broadband is their sole means of access to the Internet. We encourage everyone to take the #MobileOnly challenge and experience how it is less than ideal to nearly impossible to rely on a mobile device as your only means to fill out job applications, review medical records, or complete research and word processing tasks. The FCC’s proposal to lower broadband standards is a significant step in the wrong direction which will only deepen the digital divide.” FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel have already committed to take the #MobileOnly challenge in January and encouraged others to do the same. Commissioner Clyburn stated: “I am ready and excited to participate in the #MobileOnly challenge. Contrary to those who claim that mobile broadband services provide effective competitive pressure on fixed broadband providers, promoting deployment of mobile broadband services alone is not sufficient to bridge digital divides in underserved rural and urban communities. By standing together through this movement, we will demonstrate why it is so essential for all Americans to have access to a robust fixed broadband connection.” The public interest leaders of the #MobileOnly Challenge include: Next Century Cities, Public Knowledge, New America’s Open Technology Institute, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Mobile Citizen, and EveryoneOn. The #MobileOnly Challenge, which will run January 1 through January 31, 2018, will have participants spend one day accessing the internet via only their mobile device — foregoing desktop devices or laptops with fixed connections — and to document their experience using the hashtag #MobileOnly. Individuals, families, and organizations can pledge to take the challenge, commit to a day in January that they will go mobile only, and learn more at MobileOnlyChallenge.com. The Challenge is intended to highlight the significant and numerous limitations of mobile-only service that many Americans face on a continuous basis. It also will highlight one way that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is making it harder for Americans to get the high-quality internet access that is now critical in daily life. The FCC’s proposal, outlined in the Section 706 Notice of Inquiry, released earlier in 2017, would lower the standard for what is considered acceptable broadband access. Chairman Pai’s plan suggests that Americans who have access to 10/1 Mbps speeds over mobile internet servicecould be considered equally “served” as households that have access to 25/3 Mbps, fixed connection broadband, which is the current broadband standard. For interviews, please contact Clarissa Corona, at communications@nhmc.org or at 213.718.0732.

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The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is the media watchdog for the Latino community, ensuring that we are fairly and consistently represented in news and entertainment and that our voices are heard over the airwaves and on the internet. We exist to challenge executives and influencers throughout the entertainment and news industry to eliminate barriers for Latinos to express themselves and be heard through every type of medium. NHMC works to bring decision-makers to the table to open new opportunities for Latinos to create, contribute and consume programming that is inclusive, free from bias and hate rhetoric, affordable and culturally relevant. Receive real-time updates on Facebook, Twitter @NHMC and Instagram @NHMC_org.]]>