Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to promote equal access to broadband in every community by seeking comment on potential rules preventing digital discrimination. The Commission’s new effort, as directed by Congress in the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” is to prevent and eliminate digital discrimination, which occurs when broadband providers underinvest in low-income and marginalized communities. Public Knowledge commends the FCC for moving to create a more connected and creative future.
The following can be attributed to Jenna Leventoff, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“We applaud the FCC’s effort to meet the congressionally mandated deadline to create rules preventing and eliminating digital discrimination, although we’ll still need to fill the fifth Commissioner seat to achieve this goal. The Commission’s forthcoming rules around digital discrimination, if implemented correctly, could prove one of the most effective mechanisms available to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, reliable internet service.
“In order to fulfil its congressional intent to end the disproportionate impact of the digital divide on low-income and marginalized communities, we hope that the Commission’s forthcoming rules will hold broadband providers liable for acts that lead to a discriminatory impact, whether. Moreover, we urge the Commission to take a holistic view of comparable service that reflects all components of the customer experience and to interpret its mandate to ‘take into account issues of technological and economic feasibility’ narrowly by adopting a rebuttable presumption that service is technically and economically feasible.
“We look forward to working with the Commission on this critical component of our nation’s strategy to move us closer to a more equitable digital future for all.”
You may view our recent blog post, “Why Is Redlining Still Happening?,” for more information on how digital discrimination still occurs.
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at email@example.com or 405-249-9435.