NHMC Applauds White House, HUD Initiative to Increase Home Broadband Access

ConnectHome(7/15/15 – Washington, DC) -- Today, President Barack Obama and Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro rolled out ConnectHome, a federal initiative designed to ensure that more low-income families in the U.S. are able to access an affordable broadband connection. ConnectHome comes on the heels of a complimentary effort from the FCC to modernize Lifeline, which currently provides a modest subsidy to defray the high cost of telephone service for low-income families. SEE: FACT SHEET: ConnectHome: Coming Together to Ensure Digital Opportunity for All Americans (WhiteHouse.gov) The ConnectHome pilot program will launch in 27 cities and one tribal land- reaching more than 275,000 low-income families and 200,000 school-aged children by engaging in public-private partnerships to provide affordable or no-cost broadband connections to residents of low-income housing. The goal of ConnectHome is to ensure that low-income students have high-speed Internet access at home and avoid falling into the “Homework Gap” – or the inability to complete assignments due to lack of home broadband. The Latino community continues to face significant challenges with home-broadband adoption. According to one recent count, only 53% of American Latinos and 38% of Spanish-dominant American Latinos have home broadband access. Low-income levels are directly correlated to low-broadband adoption. “Taken together, ConnectHome and Lifeline have the potential to finally make a serious dent in the digital divide,” said Michael Scurato, NHMC Policy Director.” Both efforts are crucial and, when combined with other actions by the FCC, President Obama and executive branch agencies, indicate the type of new and bold thinking, partnerships and coordination across all levels of governments that are needed to solve the digital divide.” Last month, NHMC filed comments with the President’s Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC), urging 25 executive branch agencies to implement recommendations that will spur broadband adoption. Obama created the multi-agency BOC on March 23, 2015, “to develop a framework of recommendations to explore ways to remove unnecessary regulatory and policy barriers, incentivize investment and align funding policies and decisions to support broadband access and adoption.” NHMC recommended the Council support modernization of Lifeline, among other things.]]>

National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
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