Call to Action: Tell the Federal Communications Commission We Need Affordable Internet for All Now!

20 Jan 2015 | Guest Blogger: Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO, California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF)
Call to Action:  Tell the Federal Communications Commission We Need Affordable Internet for All Now!
Above: Internet For All Now (www.internetforallnow.org)

In the heart of Silicon Valley, parents drive their children to the library nightly so they can get on a computer with Internet access to do their homework.

In New York City, many public housing residents have no high-speed broadband in their homes.

In Florida, migrant families spend all of their income on rent and food, leaving nothing to pay for a computer and Internet service at home.

Today, one in four U.S. households—about 80 million people—remain on the wrong side of the Digital Divide and are being left behind at an accelerating pace.  We know first-hand from being in the trenches that the most disadvantaged populations and impoverished neighborhoods are up against a "wall of poverty" that demands action from all of us, including FCC Commissioners as  they review mergers of  the nation’s largest Internet service providers.

Nearly half of U.S. households earning less than $30,000 a year do not have high-speed Internet at home.  Research shows without home access:

  • it takes 25 percent longer to find a job;
  • students have lower graduation rates;
  • managing personal health is more difficult; and
  • breaking out of poverty is nearly impossible.
     

Please help us knock down the “wall of poverty” by urging the FCC Commissioners to require consolidating Internet service providers to deliver affordable broadband to all low-income households.  Comcast offers a $9.95 a month Internet Essentials plan for low-income families with K-12 students, but there are few, if any, discount programs for low-income seniors, people with disabilities and veterans.

In more than three years, Comcast has enrolled just 14% of eligible families with schoolchildren in the  Internet Essentials program.  Should the merger be approved, half of the nation’s school children will be eligible for the program.  Tell the FCC 14% isn’t good enough and, if it approves corporate consolidations, all low-income households should be eligible.

You Can Make a Difference Right Now!

Go to the Take Action page or Text 'Internet4All' to '52886' and send a message to the FCC.

Tell the FCC, if it approves the Comcast-Time Warner merger, it should require the company to:

  • expand affordable Internet service to ALL low-income households;
  • enroll 45 percent of eligible households in the next two years;
  • donate to independent funds for nonprofits, libraries, and schools to sign up households;
  • report to an oversight committee; and
  • offer affordable Internet service as a stand-alone program.

 

Sunne Wright McPeak is the President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to close the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband.