FCC's Clyburn Promotes Internet For Minority Content
May 7, 2010 at 4:04 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner MIGNON L. CLYBURN addressed broadcast ownership diversity at the New Media Enterpreneurship Conference, telling the gathering that despite a lack of progress getting broadcast licenses into minority hands, "Technology has given us a new and perhaps even more potent option to address the voices being distributed to our communities. With broadband’s rise as a technology through which commerce flows freely, and which currently presents relatively low barriers to entry, I believe we are presented with an opportunity that must be seized. What once seemed impossible to achieve through the broadcast media, is now within reach through broadband."
CLYBURN stressed the need for keeping the Internet open through Net neutrality, although she did not use that term. "It simply does us no good if we have this fabulous tool only to be controlled once again by corporate gatekeepers," CLYBURN said. "The beauty of today’s Internet is that the barriers to entry are low and the opportunity for success is real. This equation changes quite dramatically if no one is keeping an eye on the corporate folks who may either feel the footsteps of competition to their own content products or seek to earn additional revenue by charging content creators for priority access. These would be perfectly rational business decisions, but ones that could hurt American consumers and cripple the fantastic opportunities for people of color.
"Some have suggested that the Commission’s twin aims of universal broadband adoption and an open Internet are in conflict. There is simply no truth to that claim. They are not mutually exclusive aims; rather, they go hand-in-hand. My goal is to get folks online, and then provide them with the tools and know-how to make the best of the opportunity in front of them. So this morning my question is this: Exactly what kind of Internet do you want going forward? One that is yours or one that is controlled, policed and regulated by industry? For me, the choice is simple."