Porn Hampers “Minority Miracle” – Part One

Porn Hampers “Minority Miracle” – Part One

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by Dorrissa D. Griffin, Esq.

Our nation’s spectrum crunch, expected to hit large wireless markets next year, could have a profound impact on economic growth and innovation.  The effects will impose extraordinary costs on minorities given that they over index in mobile broadband adoption even as a gaping digital divide exists.

Aside from spectrum incentive auctions, a solution to relieve the looming crunch could include reducing the extent of high volume downloads of pornography, provided that open Internet, First Amendment and privacy principles are observed.

This article suggests ways to manage spectrum for optimal productivity and value for Americans.  Activities that use significant spectrum, yet enjoy only limited First Amendment protection, include online pornography.  In this article, I recommend that pornography be freely available on an opt-in basis, with ironclad assurances of privacy except for child pornography.  This article proceeds with a discussion of the present spectrum crunch, pornography’s impact on spectrum and broadband adoption, and the opt-in strategy with details on likely First Amendment, net neutrality, and privacy challenges.

The Spectrum Crunch and Minorities’ Stake in Spectrum

Firstly, what is spectrum?  The FCC defines spectrum as the range of electromagnetic radio frequencies used to transmit sound, data, and video across the country.  Spectrum wirelessly carries voice between cell phones, television shows from broadcasters to your TV, and online information from one computer to the next.

In short, spectrum fuels wireless data transfer – without it, expect agonizingly slow wireless internet and frequent dropped calls no matter the provider.  Alternative fuels do not exist – spectrum is all we can use.  It must be managed efficiently.  However, the wireless industry expects record setting wireless Internet use and minorities over index as users.

“Latinos and African-Americans lead the way in mobile broadband use — subscribing at a rate of 53 percent and 58 percent, respectively, and both groups will be disproportionately affected if providers fail to keep up with the demand for more spectrum,” emphasizes Henry Rivera, Chair and Member of the FCC Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age, in his article, How Wireless Policy Affects Minorities.  Mr. Rivera goes on to state that “Cisco estimates that 50 billion devices will be connected to the nation’s wireless network by 2020, as smartphones gain in popularity, and more and more everyday items are mobilized for consumer ease and efficiency.”

In an earlier Politic365 article, the National Urban League and the National Action Network have termed American Americans overwhelming adoption of wireless as the “minority wireless miracle and commented that “Information and communications technologies industries provide one of the most extensive job and entrepreneurship opportunities for black and urban communities….”

The lack of sufficient spectrum threatens to extinguish the minority wireless miracle.  The FCC conservatively estimates that mobile data demand will exceed available capacity by 2013, and will reach a nearly 300 MHz deficit by 2014.  The agency plans to make 300 MHz of new spectrum available over the next five years, primarily through spectrum incentive auctions.  Further, it will make 500 MHz available over the next ten years, which will almost double the 547 MHz of spectrum currently licensed for mobile broadband.

According to Mobile Future, aside from the six to ten year process rulemaking and public auctions, networks across the nation have to be upgraded to take full advantage of the new resources.  So the process needs to start now!

If spectrum use were broken down, it would uncover a significant usage for pornography.  Can America afford the risk for when so much is at stake?  

Continued…

4 COMMENTS

  1. Given there's always a finite amount of spectrum available, *how* specific parts of the spectrum are employed should take precedent over conversion, regardless of methodology . Presuming the high demand for *mobile telephony* remains constant for the forseeable future, perhaps we should be looking at scientific methods for making existing spectrum used for Internet traffic more efficient rather than bow to market influences. Alternative wireless technologies, including wi-fi/wireless telco/satellite hybrid networks and the construction of new 'middle-mile' wireline systems, should be considered, along with the deployment of new wireline systems.

    What passes for conventional wisdom places, IMO, too much emphasis on converting spectrum for proprietary use by the mobile telnets, e.g.; Verizon Wireless, AT&T, at the expense of the public good. Such a mobile telnet-centric policy is certainly not in the best interest of African-American or minority consumers, both groups' supposed statistical reliance upon smartphones for Internet access notwithstanding. Therefore, citing consumers' consumption of adult content as a threat to broadband development is likely a false dilemma.

  2. […] Porn Hampers “Minority Miracle” – Part OnePolitic365If spectrum use were broken down, it would uncover a significant usage for pornography. Can America afford the risk for when so much is at stake? Check back tomorrow for part two of this study examining how the porn industry affects minority access to … […]

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