NHMC Welcomes FCC's First Step Towards Fully Reinstating Open Internet Rules, But Swift and Decisive Action Needed To Protect Internet Freedom


February 19, 2014
Brian Pacheco, NHMC
(213) 718-0732 

'What's at stake is the ability of Latinos and other people of color, who have faced discrimination at the hands of mainstream media, to tell our own stories, conduct commerce and organize for social justice on the Internet'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Chairman Tom Wheeler of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  released a statement offering details about the goals and processes that the FCC will consider as it attempts to protect the open Internet following a recent decision by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals vacating previous rules. In his statement, Chairman Wheeler revealed that he would pursue new rules to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against any lawful online content or service. He also stated that the FCC would study whether it could accomplish those goals under the failed legal basis that resulted in the FCC's loss in the Verizon v. FCC court decision issued in January or whether an alternative assertion of authority is necessary. "It has become increasingly clear, that the best course of action would be for the FCC to reclassify Internet access service as a Title II common carrier service -- and it is also likely the only course of action that will allow the FCC to achieve the goals it has set today and fully protect consumers from providers that would hope to block or degrade Internet traffic for financial, ideological, or other reasons," stated NHMC Policy Director Michael Scurato. "Beyond that, pursuing the course of reclassification would be a cross-cutting and much needed win for consumers in the United States, enabling the FCC to enact policies to make broadband Internet access affordable, reliable, and universal." "What's at stake is the ability of Latinos and other people of color, who have faced discrimination at the hands of mainstream media, to tell our own stories, conduct commerce and organize for social justice on the Internet," remarked NHMC Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jessica J. González, who also serves on the FCC's Open Internet Advisory Committee. "The FCC Chair's statement should be a call to action for Internet users as well as the millions of people in the U.S. who cannot afford broadband Internet access at home. As the FCC prepares to initiate a process to institute these proposals, now is a crucial time to raise our voices and ensure that the FCC does not go down the failed path of attempting to assert legal authority that the court has repeatedly rejected." González added, "Please join NHMC and Edward James Olmos in urging the FCC to reclassify by signing a petition at www.nhmc.org/openinternet. If you are one of many Americans without Internet access, please call the FCC Chair to urge him to reclassify at 1-888-225-5322."
Last week, NHMC released a video featuring legendary actor and filmmaker Edward James Olmos speaking out for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) action to restore an open Internet. The collaboration was the latest action in NHMC's campaign to preserve an open Internet following the January federal appeals court decision that struck down open internet rules--opening the door for Internet service providers to block and slow down traffic to websites and other online content.
In January, NHMC joined Presente.org and other allies to deliver more than one million petition signatures to the FCC, all urging the FCC to firmly assert the authority recognized by the court and change the way that it classifies broadband services so that it can reinstitute strong open Internet rules.
For more information on network neutrality and NHMC's campaign to preserve an open internet, visit: www.nhmc.org/openinternet.
About NHMC The National Hispanic Media Coalition is a non-partisan, non-profit, media advocacy and civil rights organization established in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Its mission is to educate and influence media corporations on the importance of including U.S. Latinos at all levels of employment. It augments the pool of Latino talent with its professional development programs. It challenges media that carelessly exploit negative Latino stereotypes. It scrutinizes and opines on media and telecommunications policy issues. Learn more at www.nhmc.org. Receive real-time updates on Facebook and Twitter @NHMC.

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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