Monday, January 27, 2020

Zero Rating Internet Access Essential for the Future

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Earlier this week the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) hosted a panel session on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of Zero Rating Internet access and the positive impact of free data on diverse communities. The panelist provided intel from diverse fields within the industry, and discussed Free Data and Zero Rating Internet access as it provides access to certain online content for free. This means that you, as a consumer, can have access to certain online platforms, also stream videos or listen to music without worrying about going over your data plan.

“When Zero Rating is offered, the public tends to gravitate towards it,” Brent Wilkes, National Executive Director, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), stated.

The Pew Research Center indicated in a recent study that 13% of households with income less than $30,000 completely rely on smartphones to access the Internet. The poll also showed that 13% of Latinos and 12% of African Americans rely solely on their smartphones for Internet access. This is why it is imperative for low income communities, as well as minority communities to have increased access to Zero Rating Internet on their mobile devices.

As the economy increasingly becomes more digital it is essential for everyone and all communities to have access to high-speed, high quality Internet. In today’s job market it is a challenge to find employment without first applying online. Using the apps market as an example, a market which has created over half a million jobs in 2015, we see both the growth and competition in the market.

“Currently the Internet is the most vibrant marketplace we have,” Allison Remsen, Executive Director, Mobile Future stated.

This shows us the importance of having Internet access that provides our communities with a connection to this fountain of information and economic opportunities through their mobile devices. Zero Rating Internet access would strip away limitations and give consumers more access to the Internet than ever before.

Zero Rating Internet access is set to be a major game changer as it would allow many communities access to a wide variety of online content without counting against their data plans. This expands opportunities for Americans who are not currently online to gain access and ultimately assist in bridging the digital divide.