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FCC’s Digital Discrimination Order Will Hinder Efforts to Close the Digital Divide, Says ITIF

November 15, 2023

WASHINGTON— In response to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopting a Report and Order to address digital discrimination, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from Joe Kane, director of broadband and spectrum policy:

The Commission's decision to impose a far-reaching liability regime will be counterproductive to closing the digital divide. The agency has acknowledged there is no evidence of ISPs engaging in discriminatory conduct. Nevertheless, it has chosen to simply expand the definition of discrimination to include bare statistical disparities and even claimed authority to regulate prices because of them. These decisions go well beyond the scope of rules authorized by Congress.
The federal government has elsewhere worked cooperatively with ISPs, recognizing that private investment and expertise are part of the solution to the digital divide—not part of the problem. Today's FCC order turns that strategy on its head, treating ISPs as adversaries in a way that will chill investment and slow efforts to achieve universal connectivity.


The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and public policy. Recognized by its peers in the think tank community as the global center of excellence for science and technology policy, ITIF’s mission is to formulate and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress.

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