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Grassroots Media Policy Brief: Broadband and Poverty

Grassroots Media Policy Brief: Broadband and Poverty

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Published by MAG-Net
A one-pager on Broadband and Poverty
A one-pager on Broadband and Poverty

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Published by: MAG-Net on Mar 18, 2010
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09/07/2012

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BroadbandandPoverty: ANewAgendaforaNewEconomy
Media Mobilizing Project is a Regional Anchor of the Media Action Grassroots Network (mag-net.org)
4205 Chestnut St. Flr. #2
 Philadelphia, PA 19104
 Phone: 215-642-0301
 E-Mail: info@mediamobilizingproject.org
 Web: http://mediamobilizing.org
 
Poverty is the defining issue in all too many areas across our nation, both urban and rural. Broadband internet can be part of a solution to thisproblem, but only Congress and the FCC take decisive action to ensure universalaccess.
The world is changing, and increasingly, having access to the internet, andknowing how to use it, determines who stands to benefit from the neweconomy, and who is left behind.
The internet has become essential to our daily lives in countless ways - fromapplying for a job to investing for retirement, completing a homeworkassignment to distance learning, andfinding medical advice or starting ahealthy diet.
Today millions are being left behind, over 75 million adults, and the number onereason for this is the affordability of access.
Of the 37 percent of U.S. adults that don’thave high speed Internet access, the vastmajority are people of color, rural, poor,migrants and refugees, and people whospeak languages other than English
If we as a country are serious about addressing the problem of poverty we mustensure broadband access to those who cannot currently afford it.The exclusion of millions of people from the defining technology of our times restson some very old divides. Lack of access today far too often reflects thepersistence of poverty and segregation.
We call on the FCC and Congress to:
 
Define broadband as a universal service, just like telephones were in the1980s. Like phones, broadband is a public resource and not simply a privateenterprise. Universal service can provide the resources and rules to supportfull broadband adoption and access in poor communities and communitiesof color.Communications is a human right, central to economic development, and animproved standard of living. Without bold action by the Congress and FCC, our generation will miss the opportunities for advancement it create.

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