The FCC’s Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination is inviting consumers to “share their stories and experiences in obtaining broadband internet access.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which was passed late in 2021, mandated that the FCC adopt rules to eliminate and prevent digital discrimination. It established various requirements and mandated they be carried out by the FCC.
Last February, the FCC formed a cross-agency task force to create rules and policies to combat digital discrimination due to zip code, income level, ethnicity, race, religion or national origin. The request for consumer input is part of this process.
“Too many people still do not have the connections they need to fully participate modern life,” Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release. “We want to give consumers the opportunity to share their first-hand experiences and challenges getting and staying online. This will help inform our understanding of when, where, and why digital discrimination happens and will provide important insight for our work moving forward.”
Those wishing to provide input to the FCC will need to complete an online form that asks the participants to be very specific about their experiences with digital discrimination. It asks for the provider’s name, a description of the alleged discriminatory action, the practices and policies related to how this behavior was manifest such as speeds, data caps, throttling, late fees, equipment rentals and installation, contract renewal or termination, customer credit or account history, promotional rates, price or how technical support is provided.
Other digital equity initiatives included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, include a State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and a Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program.