The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Amina Fazlullah
Media & Telecommunications Counsel
Office: (202) 546-9707 x336

One Web Day Highlights the Need for a National Broadband Plan


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

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

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

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.

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."

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

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.