Last week House Republicans approved a measure on Friday that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from regulating how Internet service providers manage their broadband networks, potentially overturning a central initiative of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Republicans believe that Genachowski and the FCC exceeded their authority in regulating wireless carriers and insisting on an open internet.
ColorLines is reporting that last weekend, thousands of media-reform activists and journalists met at the Free Press conference in Boston to discuss strategies for maintaining net neutrality, which is a major concern because mobile broadband is one of the ways that users of color are slowly bridging the digital divide. While there, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn pledged to be “super vigilant” of the wireless industry during a speech, while discussing the importance of mobile broadband to low-income and minority communities.
This past February, Clyburn stated her support for open-Web rules with testimony before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Jamilah King reports that Clyburn, calling the Internet the “great equalizer,” went on to tell the Republican-led committee why she voted to support the rules last winter. “The current success of the Internet is largely due to its open architecture,” Clyburn stated. “It allows traditionally underrepresented groups to have an equal voice and equal opportunity … Maintaining such openness is crucial.”
Net neutrality is a major issue that goes beyond regulating companies. House Republicans clearly don’t care about people of color or impoverished communities, most of whom are white Americans, so someone has to look out for these groups in these matters. Clyburn is just the person to do it.
Read more at ColorLines.