FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27 2015
Brian Pacheco, NHMC
NHMC Celebrates Community Broadband Victory At FCC
FCC promotes competition and access, granting petitions allowing certain communities to provide their own broadband Internet access
- The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) applauds the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) vote on Thursday to allow communities to bring faster, fiber Internet to their residents. The FCC's decision granted petitions filed by two municipal broadband providers that asked the agency to preempt parts of state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that restricted the communities' abilities to provide broadband services.
Although the approval is narrow, applying only to the Chattanooga, TN and Wilson, NC communities that submitted the petitions, it is a major step in promoting competition and access to broadband.
"The FCC's ruling sets groundbreaking precedent for other communities that may want to provide their own broadband Internet access where industry Internet service providers (ISPs) fall short," said Jessica Gonzalez, NHMC's Executive Vice President and General Counsel
"Twenty states have laws that limit or prohibit broadband competition. Many of those laws were influenced or even proposed by industry lobbyists. This decision is a significant step toward promoting and protecting access for Latinos and other people of color and is part of the foundation for bridging the digital divide," she continued.
Seventeen percent (55 million) of Americans lack access to advanced broadband, but the numbers are even greater in the Latino community where only 53% have adopted broadband at home. Cost is one of the most prohibitive factors keeping people on the wrong side of the digital divide.
But because municipalities are nonprofit, they are able to offer faster, cheaper broadband Internet access to their communities. Among the many benefits of community broadband, studies show increased competition results in incumbent providers lowering their prices, too, making broadband more affordable for everyone.
NHMC is dedicated to advocating for universal and affordable connections and supports policies that lead to increased industry competition and lower prices. To learn more about NHMC's work in this area, please visit https://www.nhmc.org/category/universal-and-affordable-connections/
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
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La Coalición Nacional Hispana ante los Medios (NHMC, por sus siglas en inglés) es una organización de abogacía en los medios de comunicación y de derechos civiles que impulsa el avance de latinos a través de la nación. NHMC trabaja para lograr medios de comunicación justos e inclusivos de latinos, así como acceso universal y abierto a las redes de comunicaciones. Para más información, visite:www.nhmc.org
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