NHMC, Civil Rights Groups File in Support of FCC's Open Internet Rules

Contact Info: 

Michael Scurato, (202) 596-5711

Washington, D.C. — On Tuesday, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed an amicus brief on behalf of several other civil rights, racial justice, and public interest groups petitioning the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the Federal Communication Commission's open Internet rules. The brief was signed by NHMC, 18MillionRising.org, Presente.org, the Center for Media Justice, Common Cause, and the Media Action Grassroots Network, filing as a coalition called the Open Internet Civil Rights Coalition (OICRC). The brief was prepared by noted attorney Andrew Jay Schwartzman of Washington, D.C., who represented the amici.

The OICRC's amicus brief is available here.

In its filing, OICRC supports the FCC’s open Internet rules and reclassification of broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service, particularly mobile broadband. OICRC argues that a free and open Internet fulfills the goals of the Communications Act by making service available “without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.” OICRC notes that FCC's open Internet rules foster economic growth, as well as artistic, social, and political expression, amongst traditionally underserved communities.

OICRC writes that the reclassification of mobile broadband Internet also empowers underserved communities, as people of color, low-income consumers, and rural residents are disproportionately reliant on mobile devices as a primary means of accessing the Internet. OICRC also argues that the new rules do not deter investment or create excessive Internet regulations.

“Our filing today demonstrates the importance of strong open Internet rules to communities of color, the broad support for the FCC's rules, and the dearth of meritorious legal arguments opposing the FCC,” said Michael Scurato, vice president of policy for NHMC. “We are proud to be part of a coalition that believes in the importance of a free and open Internet in empowering those who may otherwise be left voiceless.”

The FCC's open Internet rules took effect in June, preventing Internet fast lanes for the rich and slow lanes for the rest, among other things.

To learn more about NHMC’s open Internet advocacy, visit www.nhmc.org/openinternet. For a recent two-page fact sheet on why Open Internet rules and reclassification are critical to communities of color, please visit www.nhmc.org/6-need-know-facts-net-neutrality-communities-color/.