(Black PR Wire) WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial and National Action Network Founder and President Rev. Al Sharpton today issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s vote to adopt rules to prevent and eliminate digital discrimination of access to broadband services based on income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin:
“Two years ago, Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which makes significant investments to close the digital divide and aligns with many of the recommendations outlined in the National Urban League’s Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion. Congress said that ‘the digital divide disproportionately affects communities of color, lower-income areas, and rural areas, and the benefits of broadband should be broadly enjoyed by all’ and the FCC’s rules to prevent and eliminate digital discrimination move the nation closer to the goal of equitably closing digital divide in America.
“As legacy civil rights organizations who represent Black and other historically underserved communities, we have seen how the lack of inclusive and equitable policies have created barriers to accessing broadband which have hindered our communities’ ability to fully participate in an increasingly interconnected world. This vote by the FCC will place us on the course of ensuring all experience the social and economic benefits of high-speed internet access.
“Our organizations tirelessly advocated for both disparate impact and disparate treatment to be included in the definition of digital discrimination, for the Commission to explore paths for ISPs to create an internal compliance process to ensure that nondiscrimination principles are at the core of their business practices, and for the complaint process to be accessible so that it benefits consumers and not just well-resourced institutions, all of which were ultimately reflected in the FCC’s Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Wednesday.
“We commend FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel for her continued engagement and thought partnership with the civil rights community in the fight for digital equity. We are also thankful for the leadership of FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks who has been a consistent leader, including in this proceeding, on issues that matter to communities of color and who made recommendations that the Commission extend deliberations about the establishment of an Office of Civil Rights, which has been a longtime advocacy goal for our community.”
Source: National Urban League