Today, as millions of children are being sent home from school again due to the omicron variable sweeping the nation, it has never been so important to provide the benefits of broadband to all – access to high-quality, high-speed Internet.
Now thanks to the billions committed in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that Congress has passed and signed President BidenJoe Biden addresses Colorado residents after wildfires: ‘Incredible courage and determination’ Ron Johnson to run for re-election: Money Reports – US Announces Little Job Growth to End 2021 MoreWe have the best chance in a generation to bridge the digital divide forever.
But this ground-breaking work cannot happen without the quick confirmation of Gigi Son as a commissioner with the FCC.
As a commissioner with the FCC at the turn of the century and the last Latino to hold this position, I worried that the communications revolution had left Latinos and other people of color behind.
I predicted that the Internet would be a new public domain—and that it would be critical to every aspect of American life, from employment to education, health care, and more. That’s why I’ve fought to fund support for Internet connections in schools and libraries in low-income areas, to ensure that Latinos and other disadvantaged communities are not left behind.
I knew Sohn in my time as a commissioner and as a fellow public interest advocate. I have no doubt that it will be an ally to those who focus on equity, justice and economic equity. It has a proven track record of promoting policies that make internet access more accessible to the poor, people of color, and people living in tribal lands.
The numbers continue to show that Latinos, blacks, and Native Americans are less likely to have high-quality home Internet connections than whites, even when controlling for income and other factors. To eliminate racial, ethnic, geographic, and income-based disparities in Internet access, we need a fully functional Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
And the longer we wait to take that seat, the longer these disparities will last. The poorest communities are often the most disadvantaged due to a lack of investment by broadband carriers in their neighbourhoods, and much of the data shows that this systematically aligns along racial and ethnic lines.
For example, a study by the University of Southern California found that broadband companies have overtaken black neighborhoods in Los Angeles County in the latest updates. A study by the Greenlining Institute found that historical housing discrimination parallels closely the rollout of broadband in Auckland. So it should come as no surprise that these Two little girls are forced to do their homework in a fast food car park The Wi-Fi that attracted national attention was Latina. Ending this digital red line would require the FCC, in much the same way the government should have done in the past, to ban such discrimination.
during President TrumpDonald Trump Ron Johnson Runs for Reelection: Money Reports – US Reports Little Job Growth to End of 2021 Jan. 6 President says committee will move this month to ask Pence to testify MoreManagement, the FCC has liberalized the broadband industry, so the agency is unable to address the worsening access inequality today. President Biden has made clear his desire to return the agency to its core mission and implement its infrastructure agenda to connect all people with high-quality, high-speed broadband access. This important work will not begin until the Senate confirms Sohn.
At present, the FCC is deadlocked on a bipartisan split. The two Democratic commissioners believe the FCC should return to regulating broadband access on behalf of the public. Biden Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Jessica RosenworselJessica RosenworcelBiden applauds the delay in rolling out 5G networks, and says it’s ensuring flights are not disrupted. out of the box moreHe was adamant about the need to eliminate the “homework gap” so we wouldn’t see kids using fast food Wi-Fi to do their schoolwork. However, the two Republican commissioners firmly believe that the federal government should avoid regulating this vital industry. This is despite a recent poll showing that 76 percent of Americans believe broadband is as essential to their lives as water and electricity.
To be sure, industry efforts to perpetuate the stalemate are focused on opposing Sun’s assertion. Imagine that you work for a company where you sell a product that most people think they must buy to survive in today’s economy, and yet there are no rules preventing you from taking advantage of this situation? This would be a great deal for your industry, but a terrible deal for the audience. Quality customer service, public safety preparations and fair access can be cut short to maximize profits and nothing can be done about it. Industry profits will always take priority in the absence of clear rules and public officials willing to enforce them.
We need the Senate to break the current stalemate and put the FCC back on the job by immediately confirming Sohn. It depends on our well-being and economic prosperity.
Gloria Tristani is a former special advisor to the National Hispanic Media Alliance and served as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission from 1997 to 2001.