Statement of Ralph B. Everett, President and CEO of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies on Approval of the Comcast-NBC Universal Joint Venture
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice's (DOJ) approval of the Comcast-NBCU transaction contains important public interest provisions which we believe will go a long way toward addressing broadband access in low-income and hard-to-reach communities. As part of the deal, Comcast has voluntarily committed to offer high speed Internet service at less than $10 per month – along with digital literacy training opportunities and deep discounts on computer equipment – to more than 2.5 million low-income households. Comcast has also agreed to add 400,000 homes to its service area. In addition, Comcast will provide free video and high speed Internet service to 600 anchor institutions that do not presently have it, including schools and libraries in low-income areas.
We applaud FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn for vigorously insisting that the interests of low-income communities be taken into account throughout the approval process.
The Joint Center's research has shown that a lack of accessibility and the overall high cost of broadband are barriers to broadband acceptance and use. In every community and for people at every income level, broadband Internet is crucial for finding jobs, purchasing goods and services at lower costs, managing healthcare information, participating in distance learning, innovating, and a host of other benefits and activities that many take for granted. The fulfillment of the commitments agreed to in the Comcast-NBCU transaction will have a direct impact on millions of Americans who will soon have the tools they need to be full participants in the modern economy.
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is one of the nation's leading research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses primarily on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color. To learn more, please visit www.jointcenter.org.
SOURCE Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies