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Panel Points to Broadband as Wealth Gap Solution

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A panel of experts discussed the causes and possible solutions of the wealth gap that exists between whites and minorities at the Minority Media and Telecom Council’s eleventh annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference on Tuesday.

Maureen Lewis, Director of the Minority Telecommunications Department of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, placed a large degree of blame for the wealth gap on the lack of broadband adoption.

She claimed that those without broadband lack the knowledge of job opportunities, as well as digital literacy skills crucial to many fields, that are necessary for economic advancement.

To combat this problem, Lewis recommended a focus on both deploying infrastructure and educating people on the benefits of broadband and the digital literacy skills associated with it. In order to assist with the latter, the NTIA has created a digital literacy website that makes such information available.

The panelists also emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship as a solution to the wealth gap.

“Small businesses really are the foundation of the economy,” Lewis said.

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2013 – Jane Campbell, Majority Staff Director for the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, laid out “Three C’s” to which minorities need access in order to advance economically: capital, credit and government contracts.

James Winston, Executive Director and General Counsel for the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, joined the rest of the panel in calling for greater minority ownership in business. Kevin Boston, host of “Moneywise with Kevin Boston,” agreed, adding that it would also contribute greatly to job security.

“There is no such thing as a guaranteed job in America except that which you create for yourself,” Boston said.

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Josh Evans is a political science major at Grove City College. He is originally from Dover, Florida. An intern at the National Journalism Center in the summer of 2013, he is a Reporter for Broadband Census News and the News Editor for The Collegian at Grove City College.

1 Comment

  1. Perhaps America’s ongoing “digital literacy” challenges can’t be solved until the known analog problems are solved.

    My point: too many U.S. high school graduates fail basic reading ability tests. The ongoing functional illiteracy issue in America is likely a result of the continued education system status quo — nobody wants to take responsibility for the problems. Denial of the gravity of the situation is common across school districts that are too focused on public sector employee retirement entitlements.

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