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Latino Media Groups Join Net Neutrality Petition

4 Feb, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The National Hispanic Media Coalition and Presente.org said they have submitted tens of thousands of petitions demanding Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler take action to protect net neutrality rules aimed at promoting an open Internet.

The petitions were included with more than 1 million signatures delivered to the FCC Jan. 30.

“We demand that the Obama Administration stop corporate control of the Internet” Arturo Carmona, executive director of Presente.org, said in a statement.

Presente.org is an advocacy group that "exists to amplify the political voice of Latino communities" in the U.S., according to its charter. It contributed 16,000 signatures from its members.

“Latinos are among the fastest-growing group of internet users. Latinos cannot afford to allow Verizon, AT&T and other telecommunications companies to either slow or block content and services they don’t like or speed up those they like. At a time when communications technology is ubiquitous, Internet freedom is fundamental to basic freedom,” Carmona said.

The petition comes more two weeks after a federal court ruled against the commission’s Open Internet Order from 2010. Verizon successfully challenged the FCC’s authority to implement and enforce those rules, but did leave open the possibility of the FCC reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service.

"Without open Internet protections, the biggest phone and cable companies are now free to fundamentally change how the [Web] works for their customers in order to further pad their already astronomical profits,” Jessica González, NHMC’s EVP & general counsel, said in a staement.

González said Latinos and other traditionally disadvantaged Americans have used the Internet to “push back” against discrimination and to make a living. She said the consequences of facing additional obstacles from an ISP could be “particularly dire.”

“Thankfully, the FCC clearly has the power to restore the open Internet and stand up against business practices that would restrict our voices and impede our access to websites we need,” González said.


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