Politic365

 
 


Policy

2:30pm September 24, 2011

FCC’s Clyburn: Internet Access Vital for Low-Income Families

fcc commissioner mignon clyburn calls for access for all families

Broadband access is critical to the future of America’s low-income families, and achieving that connectivity must be a priority issue for policymakers, FCC member Mignon Clyburn told the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.

Speaking at the group’s annual conference in San Francisco this week, the Federal Communications Commission member said it was in our national interest that every American household, rich or poor, have high-speed Internet access.

“No matter how critical things may be for us economically, we must address the connectivity needs of low-income families,” Clyburn said.

She noted that recent reports show 26 million Americans still don’t have access to broadband service and that a growing numbers of those citizens are living below the poverty line, particularly in minority communities.

She went on to share statistics that paint a grim picture for low-income families with regard to broadband technology. Adoption of broadband Internet access among low-income households lags significantly — only 40 percent of families with an annual income of $20,000 or less, compared to greater than 90 percent among families with annual income above $75,000.

“For these families, they are at significant disadvantage,” Clyburn said. “Their children cannot use the Internet after hours to complete their homework. And as more schools are moving to online communications, the parents are also impacted by the disconnection. It’s harder to keep up with the latest information about their children’s education.”

“We must do our part to educate vulnerable communities for this digital age,” she said.  “If we don’t, they may be left even further behind.  Every child needs an education, and now this includes a digital education…. It is not sufficient to build broadband networks and assume everyone will come. It is a must that we promote digital literacy, broadband use and affordability.”

As the FCC continues to look for ways it can modify policies to “further assist the private sector to begin offering significant broadband equipment and services to these families, along with training,” Comcast launched its Internet Essentials this week.

The Comcast program offers discounted broadband service for low-income households with school-age children. The Comcast initiative sprung from last year’s approval by the FCC of the NBC Universal joint venture.

“While much has been done, there is still much more to do,” Clyburn said.

“I believe that the members of NATOA are in a unique position to play an even more critical role in strengthening the communications networks by raising the focus on and further promoting the digital literacy and broadband adoption efforts that are currently under way in our communities,” the FCC commissioner said. “And where those needs persist, you are among the best in helping to inform those organizations where the greatest needs are, including those broadband providers you know really want, or really should, help make a difference in bridging the digital divide.”

NATOA — the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors — is a professional organization that supports members on the many local, state, and federal communications laws, administrative rulings, judicial decisions and technology issues affecting the interests of local governments. Its areas of focus include broadband access as and digital literacy.



About the Author

E.R. Barnette
E.R. Barnette
Prior to joining Politic365, E.R. Barnette spent nine years with Procter & Gamble. Barnette has a rich, diverse background in sales analytics as well as merchandising & marketing of Fortune 500 brands. Barnette has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in Communications/Media Production.




 
 

 
chicago_pcc_bia_class

The Value of Internet Equity Gets Lost in the Net Neutrality Debate

“People are not stupid. They believe things for reasons. The last way for skeptics to get the attention of bright, curious, intelligent people is to belittle or condescend or to show arrogance toward their beliefs.”  ~Carl...
by Kristal High
1

 
 
sharpton_jackson_morial_121609

Legislators, Civil Rights Leaders Remain Front and Center in Tech/Telecom Space

In 1995, digital inequality based on race, gender, income and geography captured the nation’s attention:  the “digital divide.”  Over the next two decades, legislators of color and civil rights organizations have been f...
by Kristal High
1

 
 
computer_science

National Minority Organizations Urge Renewed Focus on Broadband Adoption Amid Net Neutrality Debate

Forty-two national minority organizations representing diverse, multicultural communities filed comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet proceeding focused on protecting some of the country’s most v...
by Kristal High
1

 

Advertisement
 
congress_1

Members of Congress Share Title II Concerns with FCC Chairman

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Chairman Thomas Wheeler mull over the best way to re-implement “net neutrality” rules, the possibility of “Title II” reclassification has come up often.  To many, incl...
by Politic365 Staff
6

 
 
netflix_hq

Netflix’s Flip-Flop on Net Neutrality

Netflix must have been anticipating this year’s World Cup, preparing for it like some soccer athletes by practicing a “dive” or “flop”; feigning some injury in order to get a free kick.  The flop I’m referring to i...
by Alton Drew
2

 




3 Comments


  1. [...] FCC&#39s Clyburn: Internet Access Crucial for Lower-Earnings Households Talking at the team&#39s annual conference in San Francisco this week, the Federal Communications Commission member said it was in our nationwide curiosity that each and every American household, abundant or inadequate, have higher-speed Internet access. … Study far more on Politic365 [...]


  2. mgpthoc

    go to the public library – it's "free"

    This story seem to base on nothing but yet another gov't program want for others to pay for.


  3. [...] Broadband access is critical to the future of America’s low-income families, and achieving that connectivity must be a priority issue for policymakers, FCC member Mignon Clyburn told the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. Read More [...]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>