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Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE) Urges FCC to Consider the Needs of Underserved Communities
Apr 27, 2010 (07:04 PM EDT)


Commission should review the possible impact of new laws and regulations on the millions of underserved and un-served Americans

ATLANTA, April 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding a Notice of Proposed Rule Making yesterday, the Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE) encouraged the FCC to consider the possible impact of new laws and regulations on the millions of underserved and un-served Americans that might unintentionally raise barriers to adoption.  Specifically, ADE suggested that the FCC gather and analyze relevant data, much like what was done with the National Broadband Plan, before enacting new net neutrality principles.

"We want broadband to spread more rapidly to Americans, especially people of color, who have not yet been empowered with the benefits of 21st Century communications technology," ADE Chairman Julius H. Hollis said.  "We are concerned that some well-intentioned new net neutrality policies, currently under consideration would impede the adoption of broadband by many citizens who would benefit from Internet connectivity."

In earlier filings with the FCC, ADE has expressed that for some Americans affordability is a significant barrier, especially during this historic economic downturn, with lower income Americans being far more likely than the affluent to cut back or eliminate broadband because of economic pressure.  ADE feels that policymakers must remain vigilant against forces, including proposed regulatory policies, that may make broadband less affordable, forcing those who were the last to join the broadband generation to become the first that are forced to drop off.

Access to broadband and other cutting-edge technologies opens the door to unprecedented opportunity.  But currently, there are many Americans that cannot even afford to own a computer, let alone connect to the internet.  ADE wants to ensure that their constituents are not permanently handicapped from enjoying the full economic and civic benefits that the digital future promises due to rising price pressures and the lack of investment in broadband infrastructure that misguided regulation could potentially cause.  

About the Alliance for Digital Equality- The Alliance for Digital Equality is a national non-profit consumer advocacy organization that serves to facilitate and ensure equal access to technology in underserved communities.  The Alliance also serves as a bridge between policymakers and minority individuals in order to help the public understand how legislative and regulatory policies regarding new technologies can impact and empower their daily lives.  For more information on The Alliance for Digital Equality, please visit www.alliancefordigitalequality.org.      

SOURCE Alliance for Digital Equality