During a press conference yesterday, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) released its report entitled  Expanding Opportunities in the Hispanic Community:  Solutions for Increased Broadband Access.

The report describes the NHCSL vision of “full digital inclusion for all Americans . . . where Hispanics continue to lag in meaningful broadband adoption that can only be realized by fully digitally literate communities.  Broadband and information technology are drivers for job creation, educational reform, healthcare delivery, greater competitiveness for small businesses, and increased access to government services.”

We at The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce support the majority of the recommendations listed within the report, especially those with respect to increased wire line and wireless broadband technologies as a means for enhancing the economic status of Hispanics throughout the U.S.  Hispanics are currently more likely to open a small business than any other demographic and will most benefit from access to technologies which provide the tools for successful business plan implementation.

Not supportive of an increase in tax obligations, NHCSL recommends that the Universal Service Fund be updated in order to better allocate mandated funding towards areas of special need, such as is found in Puerto Rico. As Puerto Ricans located on the island represent nearly 1/6th of the total American population currently without access to broadband, it is imperative that any plans claiming to increase broadband access and, hence, economic opportunity for Americans, must include Puerto Rico.