Advancing Justice | AAJC Disappointed by FCC’s Net Neutrality Plan

FCC Vote Could Deeply Impact the Digital Divide in Asian American Communities
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

Washington, D.C. — December 14, 2017 — Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on a proposal to reclassify the internet as an information service under Title I of the Communications Act. This reclassification will result in, among other things, the removal of enforceable net neutrality protections for consumers.

In response, John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, issues the following statement:

“Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC is deeply disappointed by today’s vote that removes net neutrality protections and fails to address the digital divide that exists for the Asian American community. It is an issue we have voiced repeatedly to the FCC.

As an organization committed to raising the collective voices of Asian Americans, we believe that broadband access empowers our community. Despite efforts over the years to close the digital divide, there are so many across the myriad diverse Asian American communities who struggle to have access to adequate broadband services. This impacts their ability to complete schoolwork, access critical services, and practically function in society.  

In our reply comments submitted to the FCC in August, we pointed out that the debate over which legal framework should regulate broadband internet access service (BIAS) failed to address the digital divide that exists in the Asian American community. We raised a number of questions that the FCC should address to illustrate which regulatory regime will have a net positive impact on the Asian American community. None of those questions were addressed in today’s vote.

In the same comments, we also reiterated our support for key principles that we called on the Commission to consider when determining how best to regulate internet service providers. These principles include: transparency, no blocking, no throttling, and no discriminatory paid prioritization. As such, Advancing Justice | AAJC remains committed to a free and open internet.

Once again, we reiterate our call for the Commission to study the effects of the classification of BIAS as an information service on the Asian American community. We will continue to voice our concerns over and remain vigilant about the impact the Commission’s proposed regulatory framework will have on the consumers, independent entrepreneurs, and small businesses within our community. If the FCC refuses to protect net neutrality then Congress must act to ensure that important safeguards to open internet principles are protected.”