Network Neutrality: Bad for Hispanics, Other Minorities

By November 28, 2006General

Yes, yes: “Network Neutrality Imposed: Women and Minorities Hardest Hit.”

That classic satirical headline aside, Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens still offers an interesting take on network neutrality in the San Jose Mercury News.

Although the negative effects of network neutrality could touch everybody, Wilkes contends that the new regulations would limit opportunities for minority consumers in particular. Bottom line:

Experts predict that Internet data traffic will increase 500-fold by 2020 as demand increases for multimedia applications. Bernstein Research and other investment advisers estimate that deploying ultra-high-speed networks capable of handling this traffic will require an investment of up to $400 billion. But investors won’t invest, innovators won’t partner and new services won’t emerge, if the government mandates that incumbent Internet bigwigs be guaranteed the same business arrangements, at no cost to them, regardless of the inherent value of the service they seek to bring to the market.

The debate has been quiet lately. It’s good to see Wilkes and LULAC engage the issue.