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Next Century Cities Supports the FCC’S Commitment to Prevent and Eliminate Digital Discrimination

You can find a PDF of this press release here.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brittany-Rae Gregory
brittany-rae@nextcenturycities.org
May 17, 2022

Washington, D.C. (May 17, 2022) The Federal Communications Commission requested public comment on preventing digital discrimination as directed by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The comments will be used to inform a rulemaking proceeding.

On May 16th, Next Century Cities submitted comments focusing on ways to correct digital discrimination, emphasizing the need for the Commission to:
  • focus on equitable broadband access;
  • work closely with municipalities to craft a definition that allows municipalities the flexibility needed to address variations of digital discrimination in their communities;
  • consult with the communities affected by digital discrimination before implementing rules;
  • consider that “equal opportunity to subscribe” should also take into account a consumer’s ability to utilize available service options; and
  • define the geographic area represented by “a given area” as the service area of a provider.
Ryan Johnston, Policy Counsel for Federal Programs at Next Century Cities, offered the following remarks:
“In the 21st century, almost everything we do is digital. Unfortunately, short-sighted broadband deployment practices and gaps in federal buildout requirements have caused some of the same communities that struggle with housing, water, and banking to face similar barriers to broadband and miss out on the benefits of technology. These problems will not resolve themselves and require dedicated rules and strong enforcement to begin to reverse the damage done.
“New federal funding creates new opportunities to connect redlined communities across the country. Without strong digital discrimination enforcement, they will experience more of the same.”
Review comments filed by Next Century Cities here.

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