Monday, October 17
As Hispanic Heritage Month draws to a close, the Internet Innovation Alliance’s featured member of the week is the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), who has been an advocate for expanded broadband access and the benefits it would provide for the Latino community.
LCLAA was founded in 1972 to promote the participation of Hispanic trade unionists in a more responsive labor movement. The LCLAA seeks to provide a voice for Latino working families nationally by working with a coalition of leading Hispanic organizations to maximize support for economic and social policies that are essential to advancing the interests of Hispanics.
Research by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that although Latinos and African Americans lag behind in technology use and Internet access, they are more likely to utilize their cell phone to access the Internet. According to LCLAA, in order “to overcome the digital divide in our nation, promoting the expansion of high speed broadband is critical for Latino and low-income communities who increasingly rely on mobile technologies to access the Internet.”
LCLAA also included a panel “Expanding Internet Access: Broadband’s Role in Creating Jobs and Closing the Digital Divide” at their recent “We Are One/Somos Uno” Educational Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico from August 4-6, 2011. The panel featured Norelie Garcia, associate vice president of federal public affairs for AT&T and Debbie Goldman, policy director and research economist for the Communications Workers of America. Norelie and Debbie discussed how expanding Internet access is a critical element to create jobs, promote economic growth, and improve education, health care, and public safety.
The IIA is proud to count LCLAA as a member and thanks them for all their work tirelessly advocating for universal broadband access.
Friday, October 07
The Internet Innovation Alliance has a special treat this week for our Featured Member… there are two! This week’s featured members are the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and the National Grange. Both IIA members participated in the recent “Broadband WORKS for Rural America” advocacy day in Washington, DC on October 4th, 2011. The event included 150 participants from more than 23 states including members of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and National Grange. While in Washington, participants attended a total of over 90 meetings with their Members of Congress and staff, during which they delivered the message that access to high-speed Internet is a critical component of job creation and economic development, and is necessary to ensuring a prosperous future for citizens living in remote or hard-to-reach communities.
At a press conference to kick-off the event Jess Peterson, executive vice president of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and IIA Ambassador said, “Regardless of location or occupation, the need for reliable, high-speed Internet, both wired and wireless, is something that everyone can agree on. In rural America in particular, there are acres of opportunity for economic growth, but greater access to next-generation technologies is key to capitalizing on these opportunities.” Peterson went on to say, “Right now, Americans need jobs, and we need to make sure that all Americans have the tools to create and sustain them. I believe we successfully delivered that message to policymakers this week.”
Ed Luttrell, President and Master of the National Grange, had this to say about his organizations involvement with the event: “The National Grange has been advocating for affordable access to broadband in rural America for a long time. Never before in our efforts have we seen so many diverse organizations, telecommunications companies, and advocacy groups at the same table with the same commitment and vision. I believe the drumbeat of increased access to broadband in rural America has been heard in our Nation’s capital this week.”
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association is membership organization dedicated to, and focused on, efforts in Washington, D.C. to further the interests of cattle producers on mandatory country of origin labeling, international trade, market competition, reform of the mandatory beef checkoff, animal health, welfare and identification, private property rights and other issues that affect the United States cattle industry.
The National Grange is a membership organization committed to the development of the potential in families, youth and adults of all ages. Through dynamic programs and experiences that educate, engage and enrich lives, the Grange sees to build stronger communities and states, as well as a stronger nation.
The Internet Innovation Alliance is honored to recognize the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and the National Grange as this week’s featured member and is privileged to be working with them towards expanded broadband access for all Americans.
Friday, September 30
This week’s Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) featured member is the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC). The IAC was founded in 1987 to pursue and promote the conservation, development and use of American Indian agricultural resources for the betterment of our people. Prior to 1987, American Indian agriculture was basically unheard of outside reservation boundaries. Over the last decade the IAC has established itself as the most respected voice within the Indian community and government circles on agricultural policies and programs in Indian country.
As a member of the IIA, the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) recognizes the benefits a powerful tool such as broadband can have for Native American producers. One of the main goals of the IAC is to increase Indian producers’ access to international food and agriculture markets in order to sell high-value specialty products, improving profit margin without greatly modifying production techniques. Broadband Internet is a critical resource that would allow Native American producers to sell their products online to markets around the world. The Internet Innovation Alliance supports efforts to bring high-speed mobile broadband to Indian Country, especially those living in rural and underserved areas, and is privileged to count the Intertribal Agriculture Council as one of our members.
Thursday, September 22
We’re starting a new series here on the blog where we hand the reigns over to one of our members to write about broadband and technology. In this first installment, Jason A. Llorenz, Executive Director of the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (or HTTP) writes about Hispanic Heritage Month and the need to ensure everyone in America has access to the power of broadband. You can follow HTTP on Twitter @hispanicttp. — IIA.
In celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, we are reminded of the progress made, and the struggles ahead for America’s fastest-growing community. This month, we celebrate the accomplishments of Latinos in politics, business, and every American sphere. Latinos have progressed, and continue to grow in buying power, educational attainment and number. The work of ensuring Latino participation in all aspects of American life must also include ensuring full digital inclusion – the advancement of digitally literate communities who are online and ready to leverage digital tools across their lives.
As the executive director of the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP), I am proud to represent a coalition of national and regional Hispanic organizations working to increase awareness of the impact of technology and telecommunications policy on the U.S. Hispanic community. As a coalition, HTTP’s members support policies that promote universal access to, and adoption of technology, including broadband Internet. As members of the Internet Innovation Alliance, we support the policies, partnerships and private-sector opportunities to ensure investment leading to expanded broadband access and innovation that makes the Internet more useful to this community.
We care about these policy and business matters for important reasons. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 51 percent of Hispanics access the Internet via a mobile device, while only 33 percent of whites do. The mobile platform has proven to be an accessible “on-ramp” to the Internet while many Latinos continue to lag in adoption of home broadband. Ensuring that Latinos are online, and using the Internet in their daily lives to access education, healthcare and other opportunities is a key to ensuring the future prosperity for the community.
Latinos continue to lead in entrepreneurship — establishing a record number of new businesses. With broadband Internet, small businesses can reduce operating costs while increasing their competitive edge. Broadband access allows business owners, even home-based businesses, to take full advantage of the global digital economy by having real time access to market data, paying bills online, conducting market research through social media, and improving the efficiency of their business operations. It also allows businesses to connect to new markets a few towns or a continent away. These efficiencies can lead to growth and job creation.
The benefits of broadband are not just tied to business. A digital connection also produces significant benefits for individuals and families. For example, broadband access can reduce the cost of delivering high-quality healthcare, especially in rural areas where the closest hospital maybe more than 100 miles away. With broadband Internet, doctors can provide timely diagnoses through remote consultations, saving patients the time and expense of traveling to the doctor’s office (10 Benefits of Health IT). Emerging mobile health and distance healthcare technology offer a significant opportunity to address the health disparities facing the most vulnerable, rural and mobile Latino communities.
For Hispanics, broadband Internet access is no longer a luxury but a competitive necessity. Without reliable access, businesses and individuals will miss out on opportunities and information, putting them at a disadvantage in today’s digital economy. That is why the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership is proud to add its voice to the call for the deployment of broadband Internet throughout our country, and national attention to realizing universal digital literacy. It is, in fact, the quickly emerging American communities who will benefit most from the rapid deployment of technology in the digital age.
— Jason A. Llorenz, Esq.