Earlier this month, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel announced the creation of an interagency task force aimed at creating rules and policies to combat digital discrimination and promote equal access to broadband across the country. We strongly believe everyone should have equitable access to broadband internet and applaud Chairman Rosenworcel for taking this necessary step towards making this a reality.
According to a statement issued by Rosenworcel,
“This work will touch almost every part of the agency and it’s why I’ve asked D’wana Terry to lead this effort from my office. D’wana has held senior leadership positions within teams that will be critical to this effort including the Wireline Competition Bureau, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. With support from Sanford Williams and Alejandro Roark, as well as the support of every Bureau and Office at the agency, I have every confidence that D’wana and her team will ensure that we properly take on what Congress has asked of us.”
In the statement, Rosenworcel also emphasized the importance of the task force’s work,
“Addressing digital discrimination and redlining is a critical piece to living up to our standard of equal access to the infrastructure needed for 21st century success — no matter who you are or where you live. Your zip code should not determine access to broadband — which this pandemic has proven is a must have, just like electricity or water.”
The issue of digital discrimination and redlining is an issue Voqal has a very strong interest in. Late last year, we joined several organizations calling on the FCC interagency review team to address the issue of digital redlining by major internet service providers (ISPs).
As that letter points out:
“Study after study after study show that major national ISPs have decided to invest fiber optic infrastructure in wealthy neighborhoods in large densely populated cities while skipping low-income neighborhoods in those same cities. The result of this digital redlining is the formation of a 1st class and 2nd class broadband infrastructure where wealthy communities easily access 21st century opportunities with low-cost, fast Internet while everyone else is left behind.”
This task force is well suited to address this, as well other issues leading to digital discrimination, and we look forward to swift and decisive action.
You can learn more about the task force in the official statement from Chairman Rosenworcel on the FCC website.