Network Neutrality and Underserved Communities

Alternet has a story covering the issue of broadband access and network neutrality and why these matter for Black communities in the United States. The article points out how “cheap, ubiquitous and comprehensive broadband access is as necessary to the economic well-being of African-American communities as good streets”.

Media scholar Robert McChesney is quoted in the article, eloquently framing the issue of ownership of the internet in terms of the media rights of minority groups, and of remote and rural communities:

“… one of the core fundamental aspects of telecommunications policies historically … was the requirement that the phone companies, if they were going to get these monopoly licenses to make a pile of money, they had to serve the entire community. They couldn’t discriminate against neighborhoods, against cities. They had to give universal access … they hate that. They basically want to serve just wealthy and middle-class communities, and skip poor and rural communities. And they’re trying to write it into the law that they can basically … redline, that they can be discriminatory about which communities they offer their best services to and only offer in the most lucrative communities.”

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