[CalFiber] Letter to Biden FCC Transition team on abolishing digital redlining - deadline COB Nov 23rd

Christopher Mitchell christopher at ilsr.org
Tue Nov 17 14:18:13 PST 2020


I respect the people who may support this, but not only would I not sign
this letter, I actively oppose it. I do not think it is in anyone's
interest to force AT&T to invest more in low-income communities. AT&T will
never do a good job of meeting those needs and I think work focused on how
to pass laws that would force AT&T et al to do that would be wasted. We
need to focus on better approaches to ensuring everyone can access the
Internet, as I outlined here:
https://nonprofitquarterly.org/a-signal-failure-education-broadband-and-our-childrens-future/

If you use the force of law to compel AT&T to invest in these areas, you
will make it less likely and more difficult for ISPs and business models
that will do a much better job of meeting those needs in the short and long
term. I do not think there is a short term argument in favor of forcing
AT&T to invest in certain areas as it will be years of court battles that
would have to be won prior to AT&T changing any investment plans.

In disagreement, but solidarity,

Christopher Mitchell
Director, Community Broadband Networks
Institute for Local Self-Reliance

MuniNetworks.org <http://www.muninetworks.org/>
@communitynets
612-545-5185


On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 2:25 PM Ernesto Falcon <ernesto at eff.org> wrote:

> Hey folks,
>
> The time to weigh in with the incoming Biden Administration on goals for
> the first year is *now*. Decisions about staffing federal agencies and
> setting their priorities are happening as we speak so that come January
> they can hit the ground running. Not a lot has been submitted to the
> transition team about what the FCC should do so I worked with some folks to
> come up with this letter that I present to you for your consideration.
>
> The letter asks that the new Biden Administration appoint FCC
> Chair/Commissioners that will lead the agency to abolish digital redlining
> that is happening in our cities in year 1 and mandate the incumbents like
> AT&T to deploy fiber to the low-income people they have left behind with
> the goal of full deployment by the end of the first term. This would be
> done after reclassification of broadband as a Title II service by relying
> on the anti-discrimination authority the FCC has under Title II to address
> socio-economic discrimination in areas that are economic to fully serve.
>
> It is just a fact that the large ISPs have refused to do so because they
> do not want to serve low income people for lower profits. Full deployment
> of fiber in densely populated cities is 100% profitable for the major ISPs
> like AT&T, but because we don't have an affirmative anti-redlining
> regulation on fiber, they are collecting profits that stem from
> discrimination with a disproportionate impact on people of color. This will
> carry serious ramifications going forward as those older slower networks
> will become more expensive to maintain, more expensive to subsidize access,
> and receive less and less investment by the incumbents who are purposefully
> letting them fall apart.
>
> The new FCC can and should stop that from continuing forward after it
> reclassifies broadband as a Title II service.
>
> *If you wish to sign on to the attached letter, please click the link
> below. Deadline to sign on is November COB 23rd (Monday).*
>
>
> https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd3zD7OT-oCpk8m0azJlbkIYxouSJTZZPFZIa32KfwvWhLEqA/viewform?usp=sf_link
>
> --
> Ernesto Omar Falcon
> Senior Legislative Counsel
> Electronic Frontier Foundation
> Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
> Cell: 202 716 0770
>
> _______________________________________________
> CalFiber mailing list
> CalFiber at lists.eff.org
> https://lists.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/calfiber
>
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