Briefing: Revising the Telecom Act: Solving the Persistent Problem of the Digital Divide

This year Congress will look again at the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and consider rules related to universal service and the transition to digital television. These rules will determine whether all Americans have access to and can afford high-speed, high-quality communications services, including the Internet. Though we've taken these services for granted in the past, Hurricane Katrina demonstrates that a robust and accessible information infrastructure is not only vital to the educational and economic life of our nation, it is important in emergencies as well. As Congress decides the future of our telecommunications infrastructure, civil rights activists will argue that closing the persistent digital divide should be a priority.

Please join the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund as it reviews the most recent data available and discuss viable solutions and policy recommendations. Confirmed speakers include:


Wade Henderson, Counselor, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund and Executive Director, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

Confirmed Panelists:

Dr. Robert W. Fairlie, Associate Professor and Director of Masters Program in Applied Economics and Finance, University of California, Santa Cruz

Karen Peltz Strauss, Legal Advisor, Communication Service for the Deaf and former FCC Deputy Chief of Consumer Information Bureau

Marcia Warren Edelman, President, Native Networking Policy Center

LCCR Media and Communications Task Force Chairpersons:

Mark Lloyd -- Senior Fellow, Center of American Progress and member, LCCREF board

Gloria Tristani -- Managing Director, Office of Communications, United Church of Christ, Inc. and former FCC commissioner

About the LCCREF Media and Communications Project
The Media and Communications Project was developed to help the national civil rights community play a central role in the policy debates shaping the nation’s media and communications landscape. At its core, communications policy is about equal opportunity and equal access to important local and national resources, such as education, health care, and economic equality.

For more information about LCCREF, visit