WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission unveiled new regulations protecting equal access to broadband internet service on Wednesday. These new rules implement a new anti-discrimination statute enacted as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The FCC’s “digital discrimination” rules prohibit internet service providers and others from discriminating in the provision of broadband service on the basis of income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin. Notably, the rules prohibit both intentionally discriminatory acts as well as acts that produce discriminatory effects.
“These digital discrimination rules will be a powerful tool to help erase the digital divide,” said David Brody, managing attorney of the Digital Justice Initiative at the Lawyers’ Committee. “Many communities of color and low-income communities lack high-quality broadband service in part due to the malingering effects of historical segregation. The internet is central to all aspects of modern life; we applaud the FCC’s commitment to ensuring everyone has equal opportunity to enjoy its benefits.”
The Commission will vote to finalize the rules on November 15. The Lawyers’ Committee filed comments supporting strong anti-discrimination rules.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.