ICLE Statement on the FCC’s Digital Discrimination Rulemaking

PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 15, 2023) – The International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) offers the following statement from ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout in response to today’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote to adopt “digital discrimination” rules pursuant to the Biden administration’s larger digital equity plan and its interpretation of the relevant provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA):

The FCC has unfortunately chosen to move forward with highly controversial provisions of its digital-discrimination rulemaking, including the adoption of a disparate-impact standard and an extension of the rules to cover broadband service characteristics, such as pricing and quality. Such rules will have a host of unintended consequences, including introducing de facto rate regulation, which the FCC has historically eschewed. The move is particularly curious given the Supreme Court’s emerging “major questions” jurisprudence, which will pose a major obstacle for the FCC to implement these rules.

For more on the topic, see ICLE’s reply comments to the FCC, as well as this ex parte letter and this “tl;dr” explainer. To schedule an interview with Kristian about the FCC’s planned regulations, contact ICLE Media and Communications Manager Elizabeth Lincicome at [email protected] or (919) 744-8087.