NHMC respectfully urges the Commission to affirm its tentative conclusion to codify the six principles articulated in the NPRM. These principles are necessary to ensure that all people – especially people of color, who have been traditionally under and misrepresented on mainstream media – enjoy opportunities to share their stories fairly and accurately. The Internet is one of the very few places where Latinos can respond to the vitriolic anti-Latino rhetoric that airs unopposed on some mainstream media outlets. Unlike traditional media, the Internet is a forum where individuals can disseminate content and participate in civic discourse with relatively low barriers to entry. In addition, open and neutral broadband access is necessary to survive in today’s society. If ISPs are permitted to block or degrade access to certain content, applications and services, the immense opportunities that broadband access provides will be lost. Moreover, because many Latinos and other people of color rely exclusively on wireless devices for broadband access, NHMC urges the Commission to apply the six principles across all broadband platforms at the earliest possible occasion.
Implementing these rules could only help those on the wrong side of the digital divide. Some have expressed fear that codification of open Internet principles could unintentionally stifle broadband deployment and adoption in unserved and underserved communities. As an organization focused primarily on expanding media access for Latinos and other people of color, NHMC wholeheartedly agrees that any rule that suppresses universal broadband is undesireable. At the same time, NHMC supports the proposed rules as there is concrete evidence only of their benefits, and none of their supposed burdens. Indeed, data suggests that open Internet principles are likely to spur investment in broadband deployment and can advance adoption.
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