May 26, 2022

Broadband is a must in today’s remote workplace, but there are still many places where high-speed internet isn’t available, intermittent, or too expensive. Last year, the FCC Infrastructure Act was tasked with fixing this unresolved problem and “ending digital discrimination.” The agency has just embarked on this process and now is your chance to have your say.

“Section 60506 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires us to ensure that all people in the United States have equal access to broadband,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworthel said in a statement. “It is imperative that we put in place rules that facilitate this equal access by preventing and eliminating digital discrimination based on “income, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin.” It’s a long job. To do this, we need the input of stakeholders around the world: the public; from state, local and tribal governments; public interest advocates; from academics; from the private sector; And from anyone with more information and ideas.”

Accordingly, the first step is not an order, but a “notice of investigation,” which is essentially a long list of questions that the FCC must answer in order to create a fair and effective rule.

What is meant by discrimination? How can we measure it? Who is entitled to this? What is the reason? If the FCC is meant to “facilitate equal access”, what do these words mean in context? How much can we expect broadband providers to cover themselves, and when should federal funds be used to bridge the gap?

Dozens of these questions can be found in investigative reports posted on the FCC website. It’s important to get them clear right away, as the broadband industry is certainly full of loopholes. And since the goal is to identify and protect vulnerable groups, more than a few dollars are at stake in the Internet bill. History has shown that ISPs, like any business, will do whatever it takes to take some of that public money, even if it means robbing those in need.

The Infrastructure Act requires all of this to be completed by November 2023, which appears to be expiring, but FCC rules are moving pretty slowly. But your comment won’t slow things down – it will likely help reinforce ideas that are already under consideration and provide distributed internal validation for things like where and how digital differentiation happens.

If you want to leave a comment, read the post first and see what questions are being asked. You may have felt the need to regroup and want to share some ways to avoid geographic discrimination. You probably have an opinion on how consumer complaints should be handled. In any case, your contribution is taken into account and integrated.

Later, when the proposed rules are announced, there will be another comment period to further improve the language and approach, so you will have other options. In the meantime, you can leave a quick response by going here and filling out the first field (action) 22-69. He will link it to this part of the effort. If you have long ideas or auxiliary figures that need to be expressed as a file, you can upload them here under the same number.

Rosenworsel certainly thinks this is a great opportunity for the FCC to move forward and impress:

John Lewis said: “Every generation leaves a legacy. What that legacy will be depends on the people of that generation. What legacy do you want to leave behind?

I am the first woman to be confirmed as Chair of the FCC. This is what I want to leave behind: a diverse agency that is more committed than ever to making broadband a reality for everyone. I think this goal is achievable. Now let’s use this process to achieve this.

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