Next Century Cities Announces the #MobileOnly Challenge to Protest FCC's Proposal to Lower Broadband December 19, 2017
Today Next Century Cities announced the #MobileOnly Challenge, which pushes back against the FCC's proposal to lower the federal broadband standard - and we want your help.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has suggested that Americans with access to mere 10/1 Mbps wireless only service could be considered as having high-quality broadband access by the FCC. The FCC currently defines high-speed broadband as fixed service at 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload, or 25/3 Mbps - a speed sufficient for a household to stream multiple video services as well as checking email and searching the internet. Lowering the federal broadband standard would cause underserved communities to miss out on funding and other investments to ensure better quality access, would prevent Americans from accessing the full economic, educational, and social benefits of the internet, and would exacerbate the existing digital divide.
The #MobileOnly Challenge, which will run, asks participants to spend one day accessing the internet via only their mobile device -- foregoing desktop devices or laptops with fixed connections -- and to document their experience using the hashtag #MobileOnly.
Individuals, families, and organizations can pledge to take the challenge, commit to a day in January that they will go mobile only, and learn more at MobileOnlyChallenge.com. If your community or organization would like to sign on as an official partner in this effort, let us know.
The #MobileOnly Challenge is a collaboration between Next Century Cities and Public Knowledge, New America's Open Technology Institute, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Mobile Citizen, and EveryoneOn.
FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel have already committed to take the #MobileOnly challenge in January. Commissioner Clyburn encouraged others to do the same, stating: "I am ready and excited to participate in the #MobileOnly challenge. Contrary to those who claim that mobile broadband services provide effective competitive pressure on fixed broadband providers, promoting deployment of mobile broadband services alone is not sufficient to bridge digital divides in underserved rural and urban communities. By standing together through this movement, we will demonstrate why it is so essential for all Americans to have access to a robust fixed broadband connection."
Join us in telling the FCC that a home connection to fast, affordable, and reliable broadband is essential for the success of all Americans: MobileOnlyChallenge.com.