New Rules Will Stop “Digital Redlining”

Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

WASHINGTON – The Greenlining Institute applauded today’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission to adopt strong net neutrality protections, and particularly the commission’s decision to treat broadband as a telecommunications service.  Greenlining has long argued that this approach is essential to protecting low-income consumers and communities of color from “digital redlining” by providers.

“The FCC got this right,” said Greenlining Institute Energy and Telecommunications Policy Director Stephanie Chen. “Without today’s action we were heading toward a new form of redlining, a sort of digital Jim Crow, that would have devastated communities of color and low-income consumers across the board. Treating broadband as a telecommunications service – that is, as the essential public service it is – is the only sure way to make sure we never face digital redlining.”

The new rules are the strongest open Internet rules ever issued by the FCC.  By treating broadband as a telecommunications service, the rules:

  • Ensure that Internet service providers (ISPs) cannot prioritize, slow, or block lawful content or services, ensuring that consumers can access the content of their choice;
  • Encourage the expansion of broadband into unserved and underserved areas; and
  • Subject wireless broadband providers like AT&T and Verizon to the same net neutrality requirements as those providing wired services.


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute