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Internet's Future Runs Through the Duke City Tonight

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The future of the Internet is being routed through New Mexico. Tonight, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael Copps and leaders from the state's diverse populations host a special hearing on Internet access and freedom.

Andrea Quijada is executive director of the Media Literacy Project, one of the groups hosting the hearing. She says they've been collecting stories about Internet access and freedom for the past two years, and expects to hear some of the same things when members of the public are each allowed to give 90 seconds of testimony.

"So, we'll hear from young students who are in third or fourth grade telling us that they can't do their homework at home when they don't have a connection. We hear people reminding us that they also use the Internet to access immediate medical services or support."

Just over half of New Mexico households lack access to high-speed Internet connections. Quijada says she also anticipates discussion of Internet freedom, sometimes called Net Neutrality.

Quijada says it makes sense to hold the hearing in a place like New Mexico.

"The FCC will have the opportunity to hear directly from rural communities, to hear from Native communities and Latino communities. We are a minority majority state, it's really important that people hear what are the unique needs of New Mexico."

The event is not an official FCC hearing, but it features several speakers and is free. It starts at 6:30 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Members of the public who'd like to testify but can't make it to the hearing can leave their 90-second testimony for the FCC by calling 505-609-8547.

The address for the Center is 1701 4th Street SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102. The hearing is co-hosted by Free Press, the Center for Media Justice and the Media Literacy Project.




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