The digital divide -- the persistent gap between those who have affordable access to information technology and those who do not -- is among the many issues that the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) believes is holding Latinos in the U.S. back.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition announced this week it had created a new coalition with a few major Latino media businesses and organizations in an effort to boost Latino diversity in media and technology.
Everyone wants an affordable way to call loved ones, but for the millions imprisoned in the U.S., it can be a vital lifeline. But the deals some phone companies have made with prisons can make it prohibitively expensive for inmates to contact the outside world.
In a February 24th opinion piece, Jose Marquez, the President and CEO of Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA), opined that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed Open Internet rules that would prevent blocking, throttling, and paid fast lanes online would, inexplicably, harm Latinos. The FCC is set to vote on these rules on February 26th.
On Wednesday, Netflix, Digg, Reddit, Tumblr, and many others took part in an online protest reminiscent of the 2011 anti-SOPA action to protest against the Federal Communications Commission's planned new Open Internet policy and the "fast lanes" proposal associated with it. Meanwhile, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hinted this week at expanding Net Neutrality-type protections to wireless broadband.
Google released information about the diversity of its workforce, and the news isn't very positive. Most of the giant company's workforce is made up of white men. There is a positive side to the story though, as Google is at least acknowledging the problem with full transparency, which the National Hispanic Media Coalition says is the first step towards an "honest conversation" about the lack of diversity in tech.
Earlier this week, a large coalition of internet companies released an open letter to the Federal Communications Commission warning that its purported new Open Internet rules, ostensibly meant to protect net neutrality, actually "represents a grave threat to the Internet." Now a large coalition of interest groups, including some prominent Latino organizations, has done the same.
The racially-charged comments about African-Americans allegedly made by NBA owner Donald Sterling have offended minority groups across the spectrum, but the controversy has also brought his past legal housing issues with Latinos in the L.A. area back to light.
The Federal Communications Commission will release a proposal soon to reinstate its Open Internet rules in a new form, after a federal court struck down the current incarnation of the FCC's net neutrality-friendly rules. But the new rules may not not enshrine certain net neutrality principals, leading tech watchers and advocacy groups, including the National Hispanic Media Coalition, to preemptively condemn the changes.
The recent row over the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet rules, and net neutrality in general, isn't the only thing going on in the world of cable and its government regulator. Recent regulatory changes signaled by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler have been positive signs beyond the Open Internet kerfuffle, and a Latino watchdog is happy.
With the Federal Communications Commission going back to the drawing board on Net Neutrality and Comcast recently announcing its proposed take-over of Time Warner Cable, the internet landscape as we know it is changing. National Latino organizations are reacting - with what could be described as "skeptical optimism."