20 Apr Mississippi Center for Justice Commends Federal Communications Commission on Efforts to End Digital Discrimination and Expand Broadband Access
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: April 20, 2023
Press Contact: Mandesha Thornton, email@example.com
Mississippi Center for Justice Commends Federal Communications Commission on Efforts to End Digital Discrimination and Expand Broadband Access
Jackson, Miss. — This week, Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ) filed comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to promote equal access to broadband internet by defining digital discrimination and the federal organization’s new adoption of broadband labels for consumers to easily compare broadband services. The Mississippi Center for Justice urges the FCC to adopt the proposed reply comments to ensure rural, low-income communities receive equal access to education, healthcare, and workforce development resources.
“The Digital Divide affects too many low-income and communities of color in Mississippi. Access to broadband disproportionately affects these communities, leading to inequities in healthcare, employment, and education,” said Vangela M. Wade, President & CEO, Mississippi Center for Justice. “We commend the Federal Communications Commission for its work to prevent and eliminate digital discrimination, an issue that keeps the most vulnerable Mississippians in a cycle of poverty and unequal access, and hope the agency considers our input to ensure these rules fully address the needs of all Mississippians.”
In MCJ’s comments to Empowering Broadband Consumers through Transparency MCJ endorsed the FCC’s move to adopt a new system of broadband labels and suggested processes to refine broadband labels further, in an effort to better serve Mississippians. According to a Broadband Survey from Consumer Reports, nearly 20% of respondents rated their internet speeds as either “fair, poor, or very poor”. MCJ’s comments on Implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Prevention and Elimination of Digital Discrimination, suggested ways to further define digital discrimination of access. MCJ’s advocacy work has revealed that the Digital Divide does not affect all Mississippians equally.
“Through our research, MCJ has found that nearly 20% of Mississippi lacks broadband access with rural Mississippi being the most affected,” said Samira Abunemeh, Research Analyst, Mississippi Center for Justice. “Rural Mississippi’s Digital Divide is concentrated in the low-income communities and communities of color that live in the region.”
The Mississippi Center for Justice is dedicated to dismantling the state’s culture of inequity and injustice. Supported and staffed by attorneys and other professionals, the Center develops and pursues strategies to combat discrimination and poverty statewide.