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Grassroots Media Policy Brief: Broadband Policy, Making it Work for Everyone (Bilingual)

Grassroots Media Policy Brief: Broadband Policy, Making it Work for Everyone (Bilingual)

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Published by: MAG-Net on Jul 26, 2010
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making it work for 
no longer a luxury
 Any discussion of broadband and Internet policyshould begin here:
Communication is an essential human needand a fundamental human right.
 As adopted in the Universal Declaration of HumanRights, Article 19:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." 
 Article 19 makes it clear that freedom of expressionis the basis of individual and societal development.Communication enables the way we find, createand share knowledge. It should be a participatoryand collaborative process, open to everyone.Using a communication rights platform to createcommunity-based and people-centeredcommunication technologies is critical. It can helpensure that communities maintain the right tofreedom of opinion and expression, as well asaddress democratic media governance, mediaownership and control, the right to participate inone’s own culture, language rights, rights toeducation, privacy, peaceful assembly, and self-determination. As communities, states and the federal governmentactively begin to address today’s broadband andcommunications challenges and opportunities,there are seven important principles tied tocommunications and human rights, which shouldguide their work.
 Rather than focus on service providers, broadbandpolicy needs to address the human impact – theopportunity for all people, regardless of their digitalskills, geographical and socio-economic situation,to create and to share information useful for theirown life plans.Elements of universal access include:
Infrastructure access.
 Policy should support bandwidth that willenable people to use it – regardless of wherethey live.
 Affordable access.
 Broadband infrastructure, including rules,pricing and taxes, should make accessaffordable for all income levels.
Workplace access.
 This is especially important for those with no orlimited access at home.
Public access.
 Because many people don’t have homecomputers and Internet access, communitiesmust provide enough public access points(telecenters, libraries, community centers,clinics and schools) so that access is withinwalking distance of home or work.
Multi-cultural and multi-languageinformation access.
 Communities and states should ensure thatlocal content is developed in non-Latinlanguages spoken by local populations.Technical development should encouragelinguistic diversity on the Internet and simplifythe exchange of information across languages.
Main Street Project, Media Mobilizing Project and  Access Humboldt created this document jointly at a meeting hosted by the Media Democracy Coalition in April 2009.
States should fund digital and media literacy as acomponent of public education. State government,community organizations and private sector entitiesshould support and promote free or low-costtraining opportunities on using the Internet inmultiple settings (such as libraries, YMCAs andpublic housing community centers).Education should include basic literacy, mediaproduction, and e-commerce (how to start abusiness online).
In 2005, the FCC adopted four principles toencourage broadband deployment and preserveand promote the open and interconnected natureof the public Internet (FCC 05-151). According tothese principles, people are entitled to:
 Access lawful Internet content of their choice
Run applications and use services of theirchoice (subject to needs of law enforcement)
Connect their choice of legal devices that donot harm the network 
Choose between multiple network providers,application and service providers, and contentprovidersState governments should enforce network neutrality laws mandating the equal treatment of all communication consistent with FCC principles.
Broadband ‘pay-to-play’ refers to the contentprovider practice of charging customers for high-quality performance, and /or controlling whatpeople access online. This leads to a closed,proprietary Internet, rather than one committed toa principle of openness.State governments should ensure that control of information remains with the user, not thecompany that provides the connection.
The freedom to hold opinions without interferenceisn’t possible without safeguards to protect privacy. All members of the Internet community must beprotected from government and corporatesurveillance.The right to privacy on the Internet includes:
Personal data protection, including thecollection and handling of data such as creditinformation, medical and government records
Communications privacy, including the securityand privacy of mail, phone, e-mail and otherforms of communication
Networks must make it as easy to produce contentas it is to consume or use it. Technically, thatmeans that speed standards for broadband accessmust be based on symmetrical upload anddownload rates. Upload speed should be weightedover download speed to ensure participation. Yet, standards for broadband speed are changing –so it’s important not to get locked in a regulatoryframework that limits us to obsolete technology.Instead, government must promote and fundnetworks that offer high-quality service, low-latency (the delay associated with the connection)and the functionality to meet the service andapplication needs of our communications future.Communications infrastructure needs to prioritizecompetition, innovation and localism. We have aright to demand higher speeds from corporatelyowned networks at rates competitive with otherindustrialized nations.The Internet is a global public infrastructure. Thebuild out and regulation of networks must connectto the backbone of the Internet globally, at highspeeds that go beyond the frontiers of communication and commerce.
Mobile phone use has surpassed that of theInternet, and in some parts of the world, now rivalstelevision in reach.Because many people don’t have and can’t affordprivate access to computers or the Internet, wemust recognize the importance of mobile devicesas a means of accessing public information. Statesshould require improvements to Internet servicethat people already have, as well as increasedaccess to other affordable, high-quality mobiledevices and services.
Política de la banda ancha
haciendo que funcione para todos
ya no es un lujo
Cualquier discusión sobre la política de Internet y labanda ancha debería comenzar por aquí:
La comunicación es una necesidad humanaesencial y un derecho humano fundamental.
 Así se definió en el artículo 19 de la DeclaraciónUniversal de los Derechos Humanos:
"Todos tenemos derecho a la libertad de opinión y de expresión; este derecho incluye la libertad de sostener opiniones sin interferencia, así como buscar, recibir y proveer información e ideas a través de cualquier medio de comunicación, independientemente de las fronteras." 
En el artículo 19 se aclara que la libertad deexpresión es la base del desarrollo del individuo y dela sociedad. La comunicación hace posible labúsqueda, la creación y la diseminación delconocimiento. Debe ser un proceso de participación ycolaboración, accesible para todos.Es sumamente importante usar la plataforma delderecho a la comunicación para crear tecnologías decomunicación basadas en la comunidad y conenfoque en el pueblo. Eso servirá para que lascomunidades mantengan su derecho a la libertad deopinión y expresión en temas como forma degobernar democráticamente los medios decomunicación, la propiedad de los medios decomunicación y el derecho a participar en la culturapropia, así como el derecho al idioma, la educación,la privacidad, la congregación pacífica, y laautodeterminación. A medida que las comunidades, los estados y elgobierno federal se aboquen a la tarea de encararactivamente los desafíos y las oportunidades actualesde la banda ancha y las comunicaciones, tendrán queguiarse por siete principios importantes relacionadoscon las comunicaciones y los derechos humanos.
 En vez de enfocarse en los proveedores del servicio,la política debe tratar el impacto humano, es decir, laoportunidad que la gente tiene de usar el servicio,independientemente de sus habilidades, o de susituación geográfica y socioeconómica, para crear ycompartir información que sea útil para los planesque tengan en sus vidas.Los elementos de acceso universal son, entre otros:
 Acceso a la infrastructura.
 La política debe apoyar un servicio de bandaancha que la gente pueda usar dondequiera quevivan.
 Acceso al alcance de su presupuesto.
 La infraestructura de la banda ancha, incluyendoreglas, precios e impuestos, debe hacer posible elacceso para gente de todos los niveleseconómicos.
 Acceso en el trabajo.
Esto es especialmente importante para quienesno tienen acceso en casa o tienen un accesolimitado.
 Acceso público.
 Debido a que mucha gente no tiene computadoraen casa con acceso a Internet, las comunidadesdeben ofrecer suficientes puntos de acceso(telecentros, bibliotecas, centros comunitarios,clínicas y escuelas) a los que se pueda llegar apie desde la casa o el trabajo.
 Acceso a información multicultural envarios idiomas.
 Las comunidades y los estados deben asegurarseque se desarrolle contenido informativo en losidiomas no latinos de los habitantes locales. Eldesarrollo tecnológico debe promover ladiversidad lingüística en Internet y simplificar elintercambio de información en distintos idiomas.
Main Street Project, Media Mobilizing Project y  Access Humboldt colaboraron para crear este documento en una reunión organizada por Media Democracy Coalition en Abril del año 2009.

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