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FCC Enacts Rules to Combat Digital Discrimination in Broadband Access

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finalized rules, in accordance with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to prevent digital discrimination in broadband services based on factors such as income, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin. The objective is to ensure equal access to reliable, high-speed broadband for all Americans. The rules establish a framework addressing discriminatory practices by companies and aim to promote equitable broadband deployment, upgrades, and maintenance in communities. While acknowledging technical and economic challenges, the rules target business practices impeding equal broadband access without sufficient justification. The FCC will investigate instances of discrimination, facilitate mediation, and penalize companies when necessary, using an improved consumer complaint portal. The rules also provide model policies and best practices to aid states, local, and Tribal governments in combating digital discrimination.

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