Washington – December 21, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission today seeks comment on next steps to promote and facilitate equal access to broadband internet service for everyone, with the goal of creating a framework for combatting digital discrimination that has caused harm to historically excluded and marginalized communities.
Today’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s statutory language as well as proposals put forward in the record developed in response to the FCC’s March 2022 Notice of Inquiry.
Specifically, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on:
· A proposed definition of “digital discrimination of access” as used in the Infrastructure Act.
· Proposed revisions to the FCC’s informal consumer complaint process to accept complaints of digital discrimination.
· Proposed adoption of model policies and best practices for states and localities to combat digital discrimination based on recommendations from the Communications Equity and Diversity Council.
· Further details of the rules the Commission should adopt to facilitate equal access to broadband internet service and prevent “digital discrimination of access,” as well as identification of necessary steps for the elimination of such discrimination.
Section 60506 of the Infrastructure Act charged the FCC with several directives to combat digital discrimination, including those addressed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Earlier this year, Chairwoman Rosenworcel formed the cross-agency Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination and charged the Communications Equity and Diversity Council to issue a report recommending model policies and best practices for states and localities. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking reflects and builds on the work of these groups and moves the Commission closer to completing the prevention and elimination of digital discrimination initiatives set forth in the Infrastructure Act.