Monday, June 17, 2024

Broadband Essential for Latino Communities

Access to broadband technology is essential to the success of businesses in Latino communities said federal agency representatives at the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders summit in San Antonio.

“Not having broadband once was considered a nuisance. But now, broadband is essential to opportunity and participation,” Tom Reed, FCC communications and business opportunities director, told Latino non-profit organizations at the NALCAB annual summit held last week.

Reed said that with Latinos approaching one-third of the U.S. population, “Latinos are an important part of our broadband agenda.”

The FCC along with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Telecommunication and Information Administration has various programs in the works to expand the reach of broadband lines to small and minority-owned businesses.

Anna Gomez, NTIA deputy administrator, says fewer than 40 percent of Latino households have broadband connections in the United States and too many households believe broadband is not necessary.

“‘Not needing it’ will not cut it in this economy,” Gomez said.  She added that small businesses especially need access to broadband to participate in e-commerce, where sales are growing five times faster than non-electronic retail methods.

NALCAB helps nonprofits attract funding from government programs and private foundations.

San Antonio Express News