WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 19, 2014): As Congress returns to Capitol Hill, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) expresses our support for the Wi-Fi Innovation Act, a bipartisan effort of Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), to increase unlicensed spectrum use in the 5 GHz band. The proposed legislation will help meet growing wireless demand, particularly in low-income communities of color.
The Wi-Fi Innovation Act would make more unlicensed spectrum available in the 5 GHz band and require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the independent agency responsible for telecommunications, to conduct a study on the use of wireless and unlicensed spectrum in low-income communities. MMTC applauds this action as it will serve as a foundation for gathering data on how unlicensed spectrum could be leveraged for individual and community good.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, recently reported that mobile was dramatically changing the way low-income citizens and other historically disadvantaged groups access the Internet. With wireless quickly becoming a complement to wired broadband, the proposed Booker/Rubio legislation will help policymakers effectively address barriers to broadband adoption to ultimately close the digital divide.
MMTC urges Congress, regulators, and policymakers to consider this legislation as a means to address digital disparities that limit full and robust access of the Internet and the platforms that it enables.
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The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) is a non-partisan, national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries, and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.