For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Amina Fazlullah
Media & Telecommunications Counsel
Office: (202) 546-9707 x336
aminaf@pirg.org

One Web Day Highlights the Need for a National Broadband Plan

WASHINGTON - Statement from Amina
Fazlullah, Media and Telecommunications Counsel
for U.S. Public Interest Research Group, on OneWeb Day (September 22):

"During
yesterday's address in Troy, New York, President Barack Obama again
stressed the importance of fair and open broadband access, saying ‘One
key to strengthening education, entrepreneurship, and innovation in communities
like Troy is to harness the full power of the Internet. That means faster and
more widely available broadband as well as rules to ensure that we preserve the
fairness and openness that led to the flourishing of the Internet in the first
place.'

"The
President went on to state, ‘The role of government is to provide
investment that spurs innovation and common-sense ground rules to ensure that
there is a level playing field for all comers who seek to contribute their
innovations.'

"Now
that government is formulating a plan to innovate and extend our nation's
networks, it's critical that officials shape policies with a public
interest focus, first and foremost. 

"Our
coalition report A
Public Interest Internet Agenda
should serve as a guide to regulators
diving into the task of building a broadband strategy.  To achieve a universal,
fair and open broadband infrastructure the FCC must encourage new industry
competition, foster existing state, city and community initiatives, and set
strong consumer protective ground rules.

"Broadband access is
crucial to economic, educational and democratic participation and it's
critical that government make consumer friendly choices that empower
communities while bringing access to every corner of the state.

"Without consumer
protective policies to guide them, the handful of corporations that sell
broadband have done so at runaway rates, with poor service and have even
avoided serving broadband to many of our most vulnerable communities. A
Public Interest Internet Agenda
offers solutions to connecting communities while
protecting consumers."

AMINA
FAZLULLAH is U.S. PIRG's Media and Telecommunications Counsel
.
Fazlullah comments frequently on issues related to the internet and the media,
and is also a board member of the Media
and Democracy coalition
.

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