In an op-ed for Politic365, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President and CEO Melanie Campbell (who is also on of our Members) writes about the promise of healthcare powered by broadband for minority communities:
In 20 or 30 years, when we look back on today, we may realize that the most important medical enabler of the last generation is, ironically, high-speed broadband networks. After all, the doctor monitoring your heart and asking you questions during an online evaluation can’t do that using an old voice-centric telephone line. The broadband connection has to be robust and dynamic, capable of carrying the data-intensive traffic to and from patients and their doctors or healthcare specialists.
As FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said to a civil rights conference in Memphis, TN, “Access to broadband means access to better education, healthcare, job opportunities, news and information.” Policies affecting access to America’s communications revolution will have an immense role in the future of affordable healthcare.
That’s why telemedicine, including the potential for more accessible and affordable care, depends on the nationwide build out of high-speed broadband networks.
Over at Politic365, Kristal High digs in to the National Urban League’s report “Connecting the Dots: Linking Broadband Adoption to Job Creation and Competitiveness”:
The report explains that in 2010, 56 percent of African Americans had access to broadband at home, compared to 67 percent of whites, or an 11 percent difference. But in 2009, the difference between those same groups was 19 percentage points.
These findings show that increasing numbers of consumers are discovering the limitless potential and possibilities brought by access to mobile broadband. It’s clear that broadband drives economic growth, job creation, and innovation in every industry—but for individuals and families, the benefits include better access to health care and educational opportunities, as well as the ability to find a job, network online, and obtain job training. And for one group that has traditionally had less access to this life-changing technology, things are changing.
The National Urban League’s report is available here (PDF).
There are two new reports worth checking out today. FIrst up, a look at the benefits of broadband for businesses courtesy of Connected Nation:
• Nearly one in three businesses (32%) earn revenues from online sales. This translates into more than 2.4 million U.S. businesses
• Broadband-connected businesses bring in approximately $300,000 more in annual median revenues than non-broadband adopting businesses
• An estimated 4.4 million U.S. business establishments have websites, including more than 2 million businesses with fewer than five employees
• Teleworking also continues to have an impact in the marketplace, with 24% of rural businesses and 35% of non-rural businesses currently allowing employees to telework or telecommute
• Minority-owned businesses in the U.S. account for $49 billion in annual sales revenues from online sales (or 12% of total online sales in the U.S.). A large percentage of minority-owned businesses report using broadband to handle some or all of their business functions (79%, compared to 76% of all businesses on average)
• Overall broadband adoption gap is narrowing: In 2010, the home broadband adoption gap between African Americans and white Americans was 11 percentage points—in 2009, this was 19 percentage
points (56% for African Americans and 67% for white Americans in 2010).
• Target broadband adoption efforts at high school dropouts and households below $20,000 annual income: This group has persistently low broadband adoption—38% of African American and 51% of white American high school dropouts adopted broadband in 2010.
• Close broadband adoption gaps by linking it to jobs: Segment of African American population with low adoption has the most interest in using broadband for jobs—77% of African Americans and 17% of white American high school dropouts used broadband to search for jobs in 2009.
• African Americans are underrepresented in broadband jobs and businesses: African Americans were 8% of broadly-defined STEM occupations in 2010 and made 0.23% of revenues in information sector businesses in 2007. Broadband adoption can be leveraged to change this.
Pew has released its latest “Digital differences” report, examining Internet adoption and mobile connectivity. The full report is worth digging in to, but here are some interesting highlights.
On the state of America’s digital divide:
• One in five American adults does not use the internet. Senior citizens, those who prefer to take our interviews in Spanish rather than English, adults with less than a high school education, and those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year are the lest likely adults to have internet access.
On current levels of technology adoption:
• Currently, 88% of American adults have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-book reader, and 19% have a tablet computer; about six in ten adults (63%) go online wireless with one of these devices.
When it comes to smartphones, adoption among minorities continues to be impressive. As the report finds:
As we found in our May 2011 study of smartphone adoption, several demographic groups have higher than average levels of smartphone adoption, including groups that traditionally have higher rates of tech adoption in general: the financially well-off, the well-educated, and adults under age 50.
Additionally, we see no significant differences in use between whites and minorities. Both African-Americans and Latinos have overall adoption rates that are comparable to the national average for all Americans (smartphone penetration is 49% in each case, just higher than the national average of 46%).
There’s much, much more to be found in Pew’s report. Check it out.
With research consistently showing that minorities are leading the charge when it comes to mobile broadband adoption and usage, the group Minority Media and Telecom Council is highlighting the critical need for more spectrum allocated to wireless use. As Gautham Nagesh of The Hillreports:
The group issued a statement on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day, noting African-Americans and Hispanic Americans are more likely than whites to rely on mobile devices as their primary connection to the Internet.
“Taking away fast, inexpensive and reliable wireless would be taking away the best chance people of color have had in decades to attain first class citizenship,” the group said, arguing the solution is for Congress to approve incentive auctions of spectrum currently held by broadcasters.
Speaking of the digital divide (and must-read op-eds), over at The Huffington Post, Minority Media Telecommunications Council co-founder David Honig has penned an opinion piece inspired by the dedication of the new Dr. Martin Luther King National Memorial that argues the late civil rights leader would be a champion of expanding broadband access were he still alive. Writes Honig:
In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama likened broadband access and adoption to a railway that hasn’t shown up for many Americans. His five-year target for “connecting every corner of America to the digital age ... to put high-speed wireless services in reach of virtually every American” is achievable.
Getting there is the Number One civil rights issue of today. Universal broadband access, adoption, and informed use are what define First Class Citizenship in the digital age—with full access to education, to health care, to employment, and to a chance to become an engineer of social justice.
In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Lucy Hood, executive director of the Institute for Communication Technology Management at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, writes about increasing smartphone adoption by minority groups:
This smartphone revolution has made wireless data the fastest-growing service category in the 300 million cellphone market, with average revenue per user growing more than 20% from 2009 to 2010. Latinos and blacks are disproportionately higher users of data services, according to CTM surveys. For example, minorities are twice as likely as the average user to access health information via smartphones. Use of m-commerce—buying via a phone—is 50% higher among blacks and Latinos.
Later in the piece, Hood encourages regulators to keep up with rapidly changing technology:
[N]o one metric can begin to capture the complexity of today’s marketplace for Internet connectivity. Officials who still cling to such statistics as fixed-broadband access, and regulators who make policy around them, overlook the emerging reality brought about by rapid technological progress, business innovation and a dynamic wireless market. The smartphone revolution enables people to take matters into their own hands and find effective ways to narrow the digital divide.
Hood’s full op-ed is definitely worth checking out.
Last week, IIA Strategic Counsel Henry M. Rivera spoke at the 2011 Educational Conference of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Below are his remarks. — IIA
It’s a pleasure and an honor to be here with you at LCLAA’s educational conference.
I did a little research on LCLAA and found that since its inception, LCLAA has worked tirelessly to advance the social, economic, political, human and civil rights of all Latinos and has provided a strong voice for Latino working families nationally. So I’m honored that i’ve been asked to address this distinguished organization.
I feel some kinship with LCLAA because throughout my career, beginning with my appointment to the FCC as the agency’s first Hispanic commissioner, I have had the privilege of advocating for policies designed to both promote and preserve equal opportunity and civil rights in the communications industries, and to close the digital divide. So I have long appreciated the magnitude of the challenges that LCLAA faces.
Following my brief remarks, you will hear from a distinguished panel on the role of broadband in creating jobs and closing the digital divide, an issue that is critical to all of us. So in the few minutes I have with you, I would like to give you an overview of what’s at stake in this debate, why we need to care, and why now is the right time to act.
In a must-read opinion piece for Politico, Henry M. Rivera, chairman of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (and the first Latino commissioner for the FCC), makes the case that smart wireless policies are critical to ensuring minority groups are not left behind:
The 2010 census showed that minority populations, Latinos in particular, are growing rapidly. Pair this with the fact that a high percentage of minorities depend on wireless service for Internet access, and the picture is clear: Consumer demand for wireless services will only grow.
Latinos and African-Americans lead the way in mobile broadband use — subscribing at a rate of 53 percent and 58 percent, respectively, and both groups will be disproportionately affected if providers fail to keep up with the demand for more spectrum.
This need is not some myth created by the wireless industry to justify amassing valuable spectrum, and its ramifications go well beyond the Beltway. The Federal Communications Commission has persuasively laid out the spectrum crunch facing the nation. Numerous companies, network engineers, wireless experts, analysts and even the White House have all testified about the threats associated with the looming problem — consistently presenting solid information supporting the detrimental effects of not having enough spectrum.
The South Florida Times reports the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights — a coalition of civil rights, labor and church organizations — has encouraged the FCC to move quickly to close the digital divide:
In a letter to FCC Commissioners, the coalition urged swift action to broaden the reach of broadband access through the Lifeline and Link-Up programs as an economic imperative for minorities.
“This access is critically important for success in the job market,” the coalition said.
The coalition noted that when the March unemployment was 8.8 percent, black unemployment was 15.5 percent and Latino unemployment was 11.3 percent.
In a recent study, the U.S. Commerce Department estimated that differences in income and education accounted for about half of the gap in Internet usage between whites and Hispanics and African-Americans.
— Shapiro, Robert and Kevin Hassett. “A New Analysis of Broadband Adoption Rates by Minority Households.” Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. Washington D.C. June 22, 2010.
Via Broadband Breakfast, three minority business groups — the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce — held a conference call yesterday to express their concerns over the effect of proposed net neutrality regulations:
The business officials expressed concern over internet regulation, emphasizing their priority to bring broadband access to minority populations.
They said that broadband plays a role in job creation and as a vehicle for innovation, growth, and competition. This, they said, was a reason to avoid net neutrality regulations, as they could slow down the deployment of broadband networks in underserved areas.
With estimates for the final tab of a national broadband plan reaching as high as $350 billion, private investment will be critical for wiring America. Any new regulations that stall investment could put nationwide broadband out of reach.
Net Neutrality is the principle that prevents Internet Service Providers from controlling what kind of content or applications you can access online. It sounds wonky, but for Black and other communities, an open Internet offers a transformative opportunity to truly control our own voice and image, while reaching the largest number of people possible. This dynamic is one major reason why Barack Obama was elected president and why organizations like ColorOfChange.org exist.
So I was troubled to learn that several Congressional Black Caucus members were among 72 Democrats to write the FCC last fall questioning the need for Net Neutrality rules. I was further troubled that a number of our nation’s leading civil rights groups had also taken positions questioning or against Net Neutrality, using arguments that were in step with those of the big phone and cable companies like AT&T and Comcast, which are determined to water down any new FCC rules.
Most unsettling about their position is the argument that maintaining Net Neutrality could widen the digital divide.
We all know the fight today is between Google and the ISPs. And just because the arguments you make sound just like those made by Google and Public Knowledge, it doesn’t make you a bad guy. What I don’t understand though is why you are criticizing people who are looking for answers. You seem surprised that the CBC and civil right leaders are concerned that when the big companies fight each other the under served may lose?
Don’t you think the FCC should answer the questions raised by the civil rights leaders and CBC? Why is it wrong to ask the FCC to make sure the rules they are proposing will not widen the digital divide? Why is it wrong to ask the FCC to make sure the rules they develop will not lead to regressive pricing which would shackle poor people? Why is it wrong to ask that the costs be borne by the people that cause them and not by the underserved? Why are you so afraid of the answers to these questions?
Via Broadcasting & Cable, a coalition of minority women’s organizations — including the Asian American Justice Center, the Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership, and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators — are calling on the FCC to take the digital divide into account as it moves forward with proposed net neutrality regulations.
As organizations that serve communities that are among the most severely impacted by a lack of access to technology, we urge you to keep your number one focus on the need to get everyone connected. We are concerned that some of the proposed regulations on the Internet could, as applied, inhibit the goal of universal access and leave disenfranchised communities further behind. We are also concerned that some proposed regulations could inhibit investments being made by companies employing hundreds of thousands of workers and connecting millions to the opportunities that broadband technology affords to those in our community – from telemedicine to distance learning to applying for jobs online.
Multichannel News sat down with IIA Co-Chairman David Sutphen to talk about broadband adoption among America’s minority communities and the role of private investment in expanding broadband, among other things. Check it out.
AGREEMENT BETWEEN USER AND Internet Innovation Alliance
The Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site is comprised of various Web pages operated by Internet Innovation Alliance.
The Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site is offered to you conditioned on your acceptance without modification of the terms, conditions, and notices contained herein. Your use of the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site constitutes your agreement to all such terms, conditions, and notices.
Internet Innovation Alliance reserves the right to change the terms, conditions, and notices under which the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site is offered, including but not limited to the charges associated with the use of the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site.
LINKS TO THIRD PARTY SITES
The Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site may contain links to other Web Sites (“Linked Sites”). The Linked Sites are not under the control of Internet Innovation Alliance and Internet Innovation Alliance is not responsible for the contents of any Linked Site, including without limitation any link contained in a Linked Site, or any changes or updates to a Linked Site. Internet Innovation Alliance is not responsible for webcasting or any other form of transmission received from any Linked Site. Internet Innovation Alliance is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Internet Innovation Alliance of the site or any association with its operators.
NO UNLAWFUL OR PROHIBITED USE
As a condition of your use of the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site, you warrant to Internet Innovation Alliance that you will not use the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by these terms, conditions, and notices. You may not use the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site in any manner which could damage, disable, overburden, or impair the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site or interfere with any other party’s use and enjoyment of the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site. You may not obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information through any means not intentionally made available or provided for through the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Sites.
USE OF COMMUNICATION SERVICES
The Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site may contain bulletin board services, chat areas, news groups, forums, communities, personal web pages, calendars, and/or other message or communication facilities designed to enable you to communicate with the public at large or with a group (collectively, “Communication Services”), you agree to use the Communication Services only to post, send and receive messages and material that are proper and related to the particular Communication Service. By way of example, and not as a limitation, you agree that when using a Communication Service, you will not:
Defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others.
Publish, post, upload, distribute or disseminate any inappropriate, profane, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent or unlawful topic, name, material or information.
Upload files that contain software or other material protected by intellectual property laws (or by rights of privacy of publicity) unless you own or control the rights thereto or have received all necessary consents.
Upload files that contain viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another’s computer.
Advertise or offer to sell or buy any goods or services for any business purpose, unless such Communication Service specifically allows such messages.
Conduct or forward surveys, contests, pyramid schemes or chain letters.
Download any file posted by another user of a Communication Service that you know, or reasonably should know, cannot be legally distributed in such manner.
Falsify or delete any author attributions, legal or other proper notices or proprietary designations or labels of the origin or source of software or other material contained in a file that is uploaded.
Restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the Communication Services.
Violate any code of conduct or other guidelines which may be applicable for any particular Communication Service.
Harvest or otherwise collect information about others, including e-mail addresses, without their consent.
Violate any applicable laws or regulations.
Internet Innovation Alliance has no obligation to monitor the Communication Services. However, Internet Innovation Alliance reserves the right to review materials posted to a Communication Service and to remove any materials in its sole discretion. Internet Innovation Alliance reserves the right to terminate your access to any or all of the Communication Services at any time without notice for any reason whatsoever.
Internet Innovation Alliance reserves the right at all times to disclose any information as necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, or to edit, refuse to post or to remove any information or materials, in whole or in part, in Internet Innovation Alliance’s sole discretion.
Always use caution when giving out any personally identifying information about yourself or your children in any Communication Service. Internet Innovation Alliance does not control or endorse the content, messages or information found in any Communication Service and, therefore, Internet Innovation Alliance specifically disclaims any liability with regard to the Communication Services and any actions resulting from your participation in any Communication Service. Managers and hosts are not authorized Internet Innovation Alliance spokespersons, and their views do not necessarily reflect those of Internet Innovation Alliance.
Materials uploaded to a Communication Service may be subject to posted limitations on usage, reproduction and/or dissemination. You are responsible for adhering to such limitations if you download the materials.
MATERIALS PROVIDED TO Internet Innovation Alliance OR POSTED AT ANY Internet Innovation Alliance WEB SITE
Internet Innovation Alliance does not claim ownership of the materials you provide to Internet Innovation Alliance (including feedback and suggestions) or post, upload, input or submit to any Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site or its associated services (collectively “Submissions”). However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting your Submission you are granting Internet Innovation Alliance, its affiliated companies and necessary sublicensees permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses including, without limitation, the rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your Submission; and to publish your name in connection with your Submission.
No compensation will be paid with respect to the use of your Submission, as provided herein. Internet Innovation Alliance is under no obligation to post or use any Submission you may provide and may remove any Submission at any time in Internet Innovation Alliance’s sole discretion.
By posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting your Submission you warrant and represent that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to your Submission as described in this section including, without limitation, all the rights necessary for you to provide, post, upload, input or submit the Submissions.
THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES INCLUDED IN OR AVAILABLE THROUGH THE Internet Innovation Alliance WEB SITE MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. Internet Innovation Alliance AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES IN THE Internet Innovation Alliance WEB SITE AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA THE Internet Innovation Alliance WEB SITE SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION.
Internet Innovation Alliance AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE Internet Innovation Alliance WEB SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, ALL SUCH INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND. Internet Innovation Alliance AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH REGARD TO THIS INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.
Internet Innovation Alliance reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate your access to the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site and the related services or any portion thereof at any time, without notice. GENERAL To the maximum extent permitted by law, this agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Washington, U.S.A. and you hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of courts in King County, Washington, U.S.A. in all disputes arising out of or relating to the use of the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site. Use of the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site is unauthorized in any jurisdiction that does not give effect to all provisions of these terms and conditions, including without limitation this paragraph. You agree that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between you and Internet Innovation Alliance as a result of this agreement or use of the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site. Internet Innovation Alliance’s performance of this agreement is subject to existing laws and legal process, and nothing contained in this agreement is in derogation of Internet Innovation Alliance’s right to comply with governmental, court and law enforcement requests or requirements relating to your use of the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site or information provided to or gathered by Internet Innovation Alliance with respect to such use. If any part of this agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable pursuant to applicable law including, but not limited to, the warranty disclaimers and liability limitations set forth above, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remainder of the agreement shall continue in effect. Unless otherwise specified herein, this agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the user and Internet Innovation Alliance with respect to the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site and it supersedes all prior or contemporaneous communications and proposals, whether electronic, oral or written, between the user and Internet Innovation Alliance with respect to the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site. A printed version of this agreement and of any notice given in electronic form shall be admissible in judicial or administrative proceedings based upon or relating to this agreement to the same extent an d subject to the same conditions as other business documents and records originally generated and maintained in printed form. It is the express wish to the parties that this agreement and all related documents be drawn up in English.
COPYRIGHT AND TRADEMARK NOTICES:
All contents of the Internet Innovation Alliance Web Site are: and/or its suppliers. All rights reserved.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
The example companies, organizations, products, people and events depicted herein are fictitious. No association with any real company, organization, product, person, or event is intended or should be inferred.
Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.
NOTICES AND PROCEDURE FOR MAKING CLAIMS OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
Pursuant to Title 17, United States Code, Section 512(c)(2), notifications of claimed copyright infringement under United States copyright law should be sent to Service Provider’s Designated Agent. ALL INQUIRIES NOT RELEVANT TO THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE WILL RECEIVE NO RESPONSE. See Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement.