RELEASE: NHMC Comments: FCC Proposals in Lifeline Proceeding Will Disconnect Latinos, Victims of the 2017 Hurricane Season and Widen the Digital Divide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2018

CONTACT: Clarissa Corona 213.718.0732 communications@nhmc.org

NHMC Comments: FCC Proposals in Lifeline Proceeding Will Disconnect Latinos, Victims of the 2017 Hurricane Season and Widen the Digital Divide

NHMC urges FCC to reverse course and focus on implementing Lifeline Modernization Order

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed Comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) current Lifeline proceeding. In its comments NHMC described how the FCC’s sweeping proposals, if adopted, would gut Lifeline and harm Latinos, the poor, and other vulnerable communities. Lifeline remains the only federal program that offers a modest subsidy so that low-income families can gain access to essential voice and broadband services.

In particular, the FCC’s proposals would affect victims of the extraordinary 2017 hurricane season, including hundreds of thousands of families living in Puerto Rico where nearly half a million residents still lack power. NHMC requested that the FCC abandon its proposals to alter the scope and purpose of Lifeline and instead redirect its efforts to implementing the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order. The National Hispanic Media Coalition released the following statement from Carmen Scurato, vice president of policy and general counsel: “Lifeline plays a vital role in today’s digital society ensuring that low-income families get and stay connected to vital communication services. The FCC’s proposed changes would alter Lifeline at its core, shrink participation, and in the end only succeed in cutting off services to nearly 70 percent of current Lifeline recipients. These proposals are senseless and cruel and must be abandoned immediately. Lifeline should remain a program that provides a pathway out of poverty, not one that will exacerbate the already widening digital divide.” To read NHMC’s full comment, click here. 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.

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