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Honig Defends MMTC Against 'Smears'

Minority Media & Telecommunications Council President David Honig came out swinging Tuesday against critics of the groups opposition to Title II and its support of the FCC's waiver to Grain Management, a minority tower company, and its leader, David Grain, who Honig said was akin to MMTC's Rosa Parks

That came in his keynote for MMTC's Access to Capital Conference in Washington.

Honig said MMTC, Rainbow Push and the over 40 other groups that joined in supporting the FCC's Sec. 706 approach to new net neutrality rules had studied the issue and did not believe a Title II approach made sense, an approach he called risky and irresponsible.

"You can't say these 42 organizations are too stupid to know what the net neutrality issue is about," he said, adding that the smears of his group smacked of....He did not finish the sentence, but if so, it probably would have been "racism."

He said the group had been pilloried for doing what it thought was right, and that while it has been "generally quiet" about the smears, "no more."  He said that MMTC would "take them on anywhere" that he had confidence in their research into the issue and that he would not allow anyone to continue to repeat a smear that was not true.

The defense came even before Honig could take to the rostrom. Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, VP and chief research and policy offer for MMTC, said the organization would not tolerate "digital lynch mobs" trying to discredit Honig and MMTC.

Honig's reference to Grain as akin to Rosa Parks was because of his ability to launch a minority-run tower company, a difficult space for minorities to get into, and for his efforts to participate in the FCC's AWS-3 auction.

One of MMTC's issues is getting the FCC to reform its designated entry rules so that DE's, including minority and female-run businesses, can participate in the auctions for wireless spectrum.

Honig took aim at the recent diversity employment figures released by Yahoo, YouTube and others, calling them horrible and saying MMTC would petition the FCC and EEOC to investigate whether that hampered the accessibility of broadband. He also said he would petition the FCC for a hearing, with witnesses and document production, on broadband red-lining.

Honig said among MMTC's other action items are seeking a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee on restoring the FCC's minority tax certification policy, which once granted tax breaks for sales of media properties to minorities and women.