FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn
Chairman Pai: "The report maintains the same benchmark speed for fixed broadband service previously adopted by the Commission, which we earlier proposed to retain: 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload. The report also concludes that mobile broadband service is not a full substitute for fixed service. Instead, it notes there are differences between the two technologies, including clear variations in consumer preferences and demands.
In the remainder of this statement, allow me the opportunity to highlight a number of consequential decisions:
[Speech] I believe that the networks that we rely on should be totally free of discrimination, and should reflect our greatest democratic ideals. I believe that our networks are more valuable to all of us when they connect all of us. I believe that public resources should be deployed primarily on behalf of the public. I believe that we have a moral obligation to serve the unserved and close existing gaps, while allowing existing prosperity to continue, so long as it does not cause undue disadvantage to anyone else.
Broadband investment is critical infrastructure investment, which increasingly determines which city, town, or Tribal nation, thrives or not. Broadband is critical in generating sustainable social and economic growth, because like water, roads, railways, electricity, broadband is now fundamental when it comes to a community’s development.
[Speech] As we have seen from data from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, big internet providers have been intentional about focusing their investments on deploying broadband technologies, in high-income urban, suburban and middle-income neighborhoods. And as you already know, there is a glaring correlation between areas of high poverty, and places where companies have not invested in new technologies, such as fiber. The impact here is severe. Those being left out, not only are less able to get ahead, but they are more likely to be left behind.
Remarks of Commissioner Clyburn, "The FCC's War on the Poor", at Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition
The last time we spoke, you kindly permitted me to go off-script, to talk about how the Federal Communications Commission is proposing to destroy the Lifeline program. Now that proposed rollback is centerstage, along with my key priority, inmate calling service reform. But, I am heartened that the public outcry about the majority’s assault on Lifeline is coming from nearly every corner. And while it may be clear to those assembled here, that the FCC needs to pump the brakes on gutting Lifeline, what it does need to hit the gas on is inmate calling services reform.
Four years ago, I urged the Federal Communications Commission to create what is now known as the Connect2HealthFCC Task Force under then-Chairman Tom Wheeler. This is a dedicated, interdisciplinary team, focused on the intersection of broadband, advanced technology, and health. I am grateful to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for his continued commitment to the Task Force and his enthusiasm for bridging the digital divide in health care.
[Speech] With more than 50 million people identified as having a disability in this country, it is critical that both legacy communications services and those new and emerging technologies are accessible to all. That is why I believe we must discuss these issues, not just when a rulemaking has “accessibility” in its title, but in each and every proceeding before the Commission. By this I mean, if a proceeding will impact the general public, we must include in that discussion, how those living with a disability will be impacted.
[Speech] My approach when it comes to public safety issues, has been shaped by three, key guiding principles: people with accessibility and access challenges must benefit; we should do all we can to educate every consumer about these safety benefits; and collaboration among all stakeholders works better than litigation.
Today it is official: the FCC majority has taken the next step in handing the keys to the internet over to billion-dollar broadband providers by publishing the Destroying Internet Freedom Order in the Federal Register. I am both disappointed and hopeful. Disappointed that this is one more anti-consumer notch on this FCC’s belt, but hopeful that the arc of history is bent in favor of net neutrality protections. Whether it is litigation, state action, or some other mechanism that brings it about, I am sure that robust net neutrality protections will prevail with the American public!