Public Knowledge Submits Comments to FCC on Digital discrimination Notice of Inquiry
Public Knowledge submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission on May 16, in response to the FCC's Notice of Inquiry regarding digital discrimination rules in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. "Digital discrimination is not just unjust towards individuals, but can hold back entire communities and prevent the nation from living up to its potential," states Public Knowledge in its filing. "Thankfully, the Commission now has not merely the legal authority, but an affirmative obligation, to end digital discrimination. In order to do so successfully, it must compare all facets of broadband service between low-income and marginalized communities with service in
wealthier or whiter communities– including the quality of service, price, and other terms and conditions. It then must adopt broad and flexible rules and definitions that target discrimination of all types. When the Commission is evaluating if digital discrimination has occurred, it should look for “discriminatory impact” and not just “discriminatory intent.” It should also recognize that Congress’ instruction to “consider issues of technological and economic feasibility” requires providers to offer comparable service, and is not a safe harbor from which to perpetuate digital discrimination. Finally, Congress’s command that the Commission take proactive steps to identify the causes of digital discrimination and affirmatively eliminate them requires the Commission to take proactive action to set policies that will end digital discrimination and promote equal access."
Public Knowledge FCC Digital Discrimination Notice of Inquiry Comments