Over the past ten years, Americans have enthusiastically embraced and adopted broadband Internet. Although we have made significant progress, a real digital divide still exists in the African American community. The Obama Administration’s $7 billion stimulus investment in broadband and technologies like web-enabled smart phones are helping to close this divide, but we must continue to do more to ensure that our community gets connected.
Simply put, broadband has become a critical life tool. Whether it’s looking for a job, managing your finances or healthcare, pursuing a higher education, staying connected to friends, family and community, high-speed Internet is the great enabler and equalizer.
There are many more effective ways to address the digital divide than divisive new regulations unrelated to adoption or deployment, which bring a high degree of uncertainty and could have unintended consequences.
The FCC should invest its time and political capital where the returns are highest: in the National Broadband Strategy – a common goal for all parties – if it really wants to help connect every American to the benefits of high-speed Internet. The net neutrality distraction will disserve efforts to remedy persistent digital divides and imperil critical elements of the National Broadband Strategy.
Here are ten reasons why new the internet regulations impede the common goals of connecting all Americans and closing the digital divide: