BY JOSE A. MARQUEZ-LEON
Internet inequality produces economic inequality, which is why Central California residents should be worried about the lack of access for communities of color.
For Latino communities in particular, the digital divide has made it increasingly difficult to participate in the rapidly evolving modern economy. Yet, certain lawmakers in Congress are supporting misguided and draconian regulations that would make the problem even worse by pumping the brakes on broadband expansion.
Congress must develop 21st century policies that protect an open internet for all Americans for generations to come and promote investment in high-speed, high-quality broadband infrastructure that reaches underserved communities.
The lack of opportunity that has resulted from inadequate broadband access has far-reaching consequences for Latino communities in California and across the United States. Despite the fact Latinos make up almost 17 percent of all U.S. workers, they account for less than 7 percent of employees in computer and math industries – and the numbers are hardly getting better. Just about 3 percent of the workforces at Facebook, Amazon and Google are Hispanic, and studies have shown that from 2007 to 2015 the number of Latinos employed by Silicon Valley tech companies has sharply declined.
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