Friday, May 7, 2010

FCC's Third Way Would Transfer Costs for Digital Expansion to the Un-served and Underserved

/PRNewswire/ -- The CEO and Chairman of the Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE), Julius Hollis, issued the following statement regarding FCC Chairman Genachowski's announcement yesterday that the FCC will seek to reclassify broadband providers as common carrier services under certain provisions of Title II of the Communications Act, in order to restore a legal foundation to their regulatory authority following the recent FCC vs. Comcast lawsuit:

"Yesterday's announcement by Chairman Genachowski is both perplexing and concerning. The FCC, after conferring with various stakeholders, crafted a comprehensive National Broadband Plan which seeks to guide the build out of high speed Internet and stimulate much-needed job growth. The FCC's National Broadband Plan provides a level and competitive landscape across all networks allowing for the spread of broadband to all American consumers. All this while maintaining an open Internet.

However, the Chairman's "third way" approach constricts economic development, particularly in communities of color that have been economically marginalized for decades due to the absence of private sector investment. This "third way" that the Chairman speaks of could further perpetuate economic inequalities by restricting consumers' choice and access to affordable broadband as our society moves towards a digitally-based economy.

"The Alliance for Digital Equality fully supports an open Internet and a regulatory environment that incentivizes the private investment necessary to bring digital technology to our currently un-served and underserved communities, leading to economic equality. ADE calls on the FCC today to focus on the critically important task of getting all Americans connected as delineated in the National Broadband Plan by promoting a more balanced regulatory environment. The ADE encourages Chairman Genachowski to reconsider his plans to implement a third way."

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