A free internet is crucial for equality

Net neutrality is essential for lower income and minority communities and the FCC’s move to repeal it could hit especially hard here.

Maya Wiley, senior vice president of social justice at The New School, warns that the FCC’s decision to end Obama-era rules that keep the internet open will be a big loss for black Americans, and black women in particular.

“One out of every three small businesses that are women owned, is owned by a black woman,” Wiley said on “Salon Talks.” Despite FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s argument that ending net neutrality will be a boon for innovation, advocates of the internet rules say that dismantling them will lead internet service providers to charge higher fees, and take away an obligation to serve all communities equally.

“This whole notion of competition isn’t even just about mid-size companies, it’s really about the backbone of the economy of very local communities, rural and urban,” Wiley said. “At the end of the day, it just can’t be acceptable that we gut them.”

To hear more about who stands to lose the most with the loss of net neutrality, watch the video above. For the longer discussion on what cities and states can do to provide an equal playing field on the web despite the federal government’s position, watch the full conversation with Maya Wiley and Timothy Karr, the senior director of strategy at Free Press, on “Salon Talks.”

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