FCC Chairman Addresses Digital Divide at Rainbow PUSH Symposium
Speaking at the annual Rainbow PUSH Telecommunications Symposium, Julius Genachowki, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, underscored the necessity of conquering the digital divide.
Citing a recent Pew report, which found that only 56 percent of African-Americans had broadband in the home, Genachowski focused on the need to match broadband expansion goals with Internet literacy and adoption programs. With less than half of Hispanic, low-income, and rural Americans having adopted broadband, some groups are simply falling behind.
Broadband is not a luxury — it is necessary for full participation in the 21st century economy and society. High-speed Internet is essential for economic growth, online education, healthcare, and government.
"The digital divide is seriously troubling; more troubling now than in the past, because the costs of digital exclusion are rising. Closing this divide is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time," said Genachowski.
Broadband adoption presents a large hurdle towards connecting groups on the other side of the digital divide. Making broadband relevant to users and increasing Internet literacy will be a key goal of future government programs and a continued focus of the CWA.
CWA urges the FTC and the DOJ to take into account in merger review guidelines the role of collective bargaining in counterbalancing employer market power