The Federal Communications Commission voted Wednesday 3-2 to implement the Biden Administration plan to take over the internet cloaked in limiting “digital discrimination” and promoting “equity and diversity.”
According to U.S. News and World Report the new rules will ban internet providers from discriminating in providing service to low-income, marginalized and protected communities. The regulators are calling the rules package the “first major U.S. digital civil rights policy.”
The order constructs a framework for a federal crackdown on “digital inequalities,” “disparities in investments” in certain neighborhoods and addresses the “digital divide” that some communities experience due to “regional or socioeconomic inequality.”
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said Congress had required the adoption of new rules on discrimination when the Bipartisan Infrastructure legislation passed in the early days of the Biden Administration.
“The digital divide puts us at an economic disadvantage as a country and disproportionately affects communities of color, lower-income areas, and rural areas,” Rosenworcel said according to The Associated Press.
Vice-President Kamala Harris lauded the FCC’s action, answering the administration’s call to “prohibit digital discrimination in high-speed Internet access based on income, race, ethnicity, religion, and national origin.”
The Politics Brief, the American Family Association, and the Energy & Commerce Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers all denounced the regulation as a potential bureaucratic disaster that will cost Americans more for services that are worse and grant the government more control of the private sector.
The FCC Commissioner Brendon Carr opposed the regulation and slammed the Biden Administration for its failure to remove red tape so internet providers could move forward with 5G services. Carr then blasted the administration for blaming the private sector and free market capitalism for its own shortfalls.
Carr highlighted the fallout in a memorandum earlier this month, noting that for the first time in the FCC’s 90-year history, multiple industries are swept under the FCC’s jurisdiction. He noted that if the “intrusive new regime” were tied to ISP’s and the communication sector it’d be one thing, but instead it lumps landlords, construction crews, marketing agencies, banks, and even the federal government itself into being newly regulated by the FCC and “liable for any act or omission that the agency determines has an impermissible impact on a consumer’s access to broadband.”
“For the first time ever, those rules would give the federal government a roving mandate to micromanage nearly every aspect of how the Internet functions,” Carr wrote. “From how ISPs allocate capital and where they build, to the services that consumers can purchase; from the profits that ISPs can realize and how they market and advertise services, to the discounts and promotions that consumers can receive.”
He concluded Biden’s “internet for all” is an ideological approach, heading things further in the wrong direction, as “there is little or no evidence” in the agency’s record to even indicate that there has been any intentional discrimination in the broadband market.
Robyn Spradlin is a freelance journalist working as a contributor for Christian News Journal covering news and politics on the national and state levels. She has worked as a copywriter for Victory News on the Victory Channel since 2022. Robyn has an BA in Communication Studies and MA in Journalism from Regent University and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association. She is an author, evangelistic minister and a musician.