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MMTC Tells Government There Is Need for More Than Speed

The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council likes where President Obama is headed when it comes to getting high-speed broadband to underserved communities, but does not think the FCC went far enough and argues that speed alone may not be the best way to get past some historic barriers to digital equality.

MMTC said Thursday that the President's proposal lacked two important elements: 1) addressing the continuing second-class digital citizenship for people of color, seniors, people wih disabilities and the poor and 2) a plan for ending digital redlining, which it defines as "the refusal to build and serve lower-income communities on the same terms as wealthier communities."

While the Administration and the FCC have put a focus on speed, and a pedal to the metal on ways to boost it, MMTC says they need to widen their view. "Government must look behind the bright lights of better, faster, cheaper broadband and provide safeguards to ensure that broadband networks are not deployed in a manner that ultimately redlines communities based on socio-economic factors and widens the digital divide," the group says.

It also said it hoped the Administration would tap MMTC for ideas on identifying barriers to adoption.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.