Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Should We Really Worry About Obama's FCC Chairperson Nomination - Wheeler ??

For past ten years, the lives of Deaf Americans got more intertwined and greatly affected by the Federal Communication Commission generally known as the FCC than in the past 70 years.

After the existence of Video Relay Service (VRS) and Videophone (VP), the FCC led the communication policy greatly affecting the use of relay service - text and video services. This agency also do the payment allocation from the Telephone Relay Services (TRS) to cover the cost of interstate and local VRS calls among Deaf VRS/VP users.

For past few months, there were such a speculation about the replacement of FCC chairman after the Obama's re-election for bringing Obama's personal stamps on the FCC policies and leadership rudders. Names were suggested among the FCC advocates and communication industry.


To no available, the National Association of the Deaf  (NAD) and the organizations of the Deaf seems not bother to make the efforts to see the replacement for the FCC chairperson to remain the Deaf-friendly policies.

NAD had been cowardly backing off from pushing the inclusion of low-cost monthly broad width coverage for the low-income Deaf people for the purpose of VRS/VP use at their private residence.


NAD sacrificed the low-income Deaf people to preserve the 21th Century Communication Access legislation from being bonked out. The low-income Deaf people got sidelined from getting the equal access for the use of VRS/VP at home which the hearing low-income people regularly benefits from the Lifeline program for years.

The hearing low-income Americans greatly benefit from the  which they would be not deprived from
the phone access in any way. The hearing senior citizens in District of Columbia usually pay only one dollar for the monthly phone service while low-income elderly Deaf people have to pay the costly service for the broad width use for accessing to the VRS/VP at their residences.

Look at what the FCC offer the low-cost phone assistance programs for hearing low-income individuals since 1985 - http://www.fcc.gov/lifeline

Is that really fair for the low-income or elderly Deaf Americans to be burdensome with the costly of broad width access?? 

The FCC under the Obama Administration vigorously fought for the Net Neutrality policies to be in place to assist the Rural America. The communication industry fought back against the costly installation of broad width line along the rural area which the Obama administration lost the major court case. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/technology/07net.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Look at Presidential candidate Barack Obama's promises in 2007 - http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9806707-7.html

The Obama administration flinched on the issue of Net Neutrality in 2010 -

The main question for all of us, Deaf America - Should we really worry about President Obama's nomination of FCC chairperson replacement - Wheeler, the lobbyist for wireless and cable industry?? 


We need to think over and what to do next for ourselves within Deaf America.

ASLize yours,
Robert L. Mason