On Feb. 23, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a draft Notice of Inquiry (NOI) that would seek comment on how to prevent and eliminate discrimination of broadband access as directed by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The announcement comes ahead of the commission’s March 16 meeting, where the agency will consider and likely approve the NOI, which addresses implementation of the digital equity provisions of the IIJA. The draft posted has been circulated for tentative consideration and the public has an opportunity to suggest revisions or additions by March 9. Once adopted, the NOI will seek input on how to apply statutory language that would prevent digital discrimination by considering the following questions:
- What rules the FCC should adopt to facilitate equal access to broadband internet access service and prevent digital discrimination;
- What other steps the FCC should take to eliminate digital discrimination;
- What data the FCC should rely on as it considers the issue of digital discrimination; and
- How the FCC should revise its public complaint process to accept complaints related to digital discrimination.
The draft NOI includes a question concerning the bases for discrimination that will be used for implementation, asking whether unique considerations should be taken into account regarding members of tribal nations as part of the process. In an effort to promote digital equity and inclusion, the FCC seeks comment on how the proposals may promote or inhibit advances in diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, as well as the scope of the commission’s relevant legal authority. The FCC will set comment deadlines once the NOI is adopted. The draft NOI can be found here.
THIS DOCUMENT IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH GENERAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE FCC'S NOI ON DIGITAL DISCRIMINATION. THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT OR IF YOU NEED LEGAL ADVICE AS TO AN ISSUE, PLEASE CONTACT THE ATTORNEYS LISTED OR YOUR REGULAR BROWNSTEIN HYATT FARBER SCHRECK, LLP ATTORNEY. THIS COMMUNICATION MAY BE CONSIDERED ADVERTISING IN SOME JURISDICTIONS