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FCC adopts report on strategies for preventing digital discrimination

The Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CEDC), a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) advisory committee, voted unanimously yesterday to adopt a report containing recommendations and best practices to prevent digital discrimination by internet service providers (ISPs) and promote digital equity.

The report provides recommendations to the FCC on public policies, programs, and other strategic initiatives to “advance the equity in the process of and access to digital communications services and products for all people,” which is consistent with the goals of the CEDC.

“The CEDC was tasked by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to make recommendations on strategies for states and localities to prevent digital discrimination and to advance digital equity. This request was in response to a provision in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that requires the FCC to do this,” said Heather Gate, VP of Digital Inclusion for Connected Nation (CN) and Chair of the CEDC. “I applaud the chairwoman for trusting the council to contribute to the commission’s efforts to gather information from diverse stakeholders across the country. I also applaud CEDC members for their commitment to this process for the last 10 months, and for coming together with a common mission of ensuring equitable access to broadband for all people in the United States.”

The CEDC is composed of diverse stakeholders representing the telecommunications industry, public interest groups, nonprofits, associations, and small, minority-owned, and woman-owned media. The council voted to approve the final report before it was officially sent to Rosenworcel.

“As many jobs, schools, and healthcare in recent years shifted to online environments, the need to deliver high-speed broadband connectivity across the country was amplified. And through these shifts, we saw the challenges Americans from unserved and underserved communities face in accessing high-speed internet to meet their basic needs,” said Rosenworcel in a statement issued after the report was released. “Last year, I expanded the mission of the Communications Equity and Diversity Council to look beyond traditional media, but across all technology, to further align with the Commission’s aggressive digital equity agenda. Tackling digital discrimination will help to make sure that all have access to this infrastructure we all need for success.”

The report is divided into the recommendations and best practices developed by three working groups, each with a different focus area. Those groups are Diversity and Equity (D&E), Innovation and Access (I&A), and Digital Empowerment and Inclusion (DEI). The report also includes 13 key recommendations for states and localities in support of digital equity.

CT Bureau

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