FCC adopts new guidelines to forestall ‘digital discrimination’ – JURIST

The Federal Communications Fee (FCC) adopted new rules Wednesday to assist stop and get rid of discrimination of entry to broadband companies primarily based on race, earnings, faith or nationwide origin.

Beneath the brand new guidelines, the FCC is ready to regulate discriminatory insurance policies and practices of firms to guard particular person customers by issuing fines and injunctions. In a information launch, the FCC described the aim of the brand new guidelines, stating:

Whereas recognizing and absolutely bearing in mind technical and financial challenges which will stop full achievement of equal entry to broadband service, these guidelines goal enterprise practices and insurance policies that impede equal entry to broadband with out enough justification. The principles deal with the very actual drawback of final result, resembling when choices untainted by discriminatory intent however trigger totally different communities to obtain totally different entry to broadband companies. The principles don’t focus solely on the mindsets of business individuals when making choices that have an effect on entry to broadband service.

In a statement, Chairwoman of the FCC Jessica Rosenworcel famous that the brand new guidelines are the results of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law handed in 2021. Beneath this regulation, Congress directed the FCC to “undertake guidelines to facilitate equal entry to broadband web entry service.” Rosenworcel praised the brand new FCC guidelines for guaranteeing equal entry and following the request of Congress.

Different members of the FCC didn’t view the brand new guidelines as favorably. FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington wrote a dissent, criticizing the brand new guidelines for going past the authority granted by Congress. Simington argued that Congress didn’t grant the FCC the authority to situation fines, injunctions, or forfeitures.

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