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17 Nonprofit Organizations Ask Congress to Rein in FCC

I see I am not the only one who is eager to see the Federal Communication Commission return its attention, focus and priorities to solving real issues with tangible real solutions in favor of chasing down network neutrality.

This week, seventeen minority organizations and nonprofits got together to ask the Congress to do just that. In their July 18th letter to Congress, they state:

[W]e are concerned that the Commission’s proposed regulations could be a distraction from efforts to implement the National Broadband Plan.  By injecting uncertainty into the broadband market, we fear that proposed regulations could have detrimental effects on investment, innovation and job creation.  As staff from the Commission has estimated that it will take up to $350 billion to deploy broadband nationally, those underserved by broadband cannot afford a decrease in future investments.  Nor can American workers, who we must rely upon to build out broadband infrastructure across the country.  The goal of closing the digital divide and creating jobs in our communities should be at the forefront of our broadband policy agenda at this time.

Amen to that.

Someone came up to me recently at an industry event asking why minority organizations do not see the benefit of net neutrality. I proceeded to explain to the nice man that having just gone through the first day of a conference about access to capital, he can see our plate is quite full with trying to redress real problems and challenges facing minorities in this industry. He didn’t seem to have a full understanding that there are minority content producers on the net. “I can’t find any,” he remarked to me! Really? So our solution to having a more visible presence on the net, in media and online jobs and in ownership is to adopt “network neutrality?” Wow!

We are facing challenges capital investment, universal broadband adoption, content distribution and carriage, multilingual emergency alerts, access to deal inside deal information, incubation and training. So far, based on the conference and input from Commissioners, I am anxious about the plan to implement many of the National Broadband Plan’s recommendations. They are offering real solutions like setting up databases for information, pairing partners in the same industry, developing workshops, and initiating rulemakings to change some of the rules to make them more favorable to new entrants.

Can you tell I am getting excited!?

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