BROADBAND & TECHNOLOGY TASK FORCE
WHEREAS, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) supports policies that help to close the digital divide and make it easier for low-income households with school-age children to have access to broadband Internet, and
WHEREAS, research suggests roughly seven in ten teachers (7 in 10) assign homework that requires access to the Internet, and
WHEREAS, minority and low-income students are at a disadvantage without online access in order to do school work, and
WHEREAS, Pew Research analysis of the Census data finds that the lowest-income households have the lowest home broadband subscription rates, and
WHEREAS, according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureauâ€™s American Community Survey data, there are 29 million households with school-age children nationwide and approximately 5 million of those households do not have high-speed internet service at home,and
WHEREAS, low-income households â€“ and especially Hispanic and Black ones â€“ make up a disproportionate share of that 5 million; 38.6% of the low-income Black population and 37.4% of low-income Hispanics lack high speed connection at home.
WHEREAS, roughly one-third (31.4%) of households whose incomes fall below $50,000 and with children ages 6 to 17 do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, and
WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has initiated a rule-making process to extend the Lifeline Program, an initiative that subsidizes telephone subscriptions for lowincome households, to allow recipients to purchase discounted broadband from participating providers.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NHCSL urges the FCC to modernize its Lifeline Program to allow participants to support broadband Internet service, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NHCSL urges the FCC to make licensed and unlicensed spectrum more readily available for wireless broadband, which includes Wi-Fi, so that there are more opportunities for students to get their schoolwork done.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the Chairman and Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, and other federal, state, and local government officials, as appropriate.
THIS RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED ON APRIL 30, 2016, AT THE NHCSL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE & BUSINESS BOARD OF ADVISORS MEETING HELD IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Sponsored by: Senator Juan Pichardo (RI)