On March 28, 2023, the FCC's Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination hosted a listening session in Baltimore, Md. to gain additional information and understanding from affected communities, state, local, and Tribal governments, public interest advocates, and providers about their experiences – including challenges and barriers faced – as they work to ensure all people of the United States benefit from equal access to broadband. The purpose of this listening session was to continue the Commission's outreach in support of its ongoing efforts to promote equal access to broadband for everyone.
The listening session took placer, from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. (EDT), at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Southeast Anchor Branch, 3601 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, Md. 21224.
The program agenda included presentations from the Task Force, elected leaders, and local digital equity stakeholders, and included an opportunity for members of the public to share their broadband access experiences, providing the Commission with first-hand knowledge it needs to further its goals to create a framework for addressing digital discrimination.
The public listening session will be recorded and archived on the FCC's website.
4:00 PM — Doors Opened
4:30 PM — Welcoming Remarks and Introductions
- Kenya Asli, Director, Baltimore City Office of Info & Tech (BCIT)
- Zeke Cohen, Baltimore City Council, District 1
- Danielle McCray, Baltimore City Council, District 2
4:45 PM — Opening Remarks: Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination
- Alejandro Roark, Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
- D'wana Terry, Special Advisor to Chairwoman Rosenworcel, Acting Director of the FCC's Office of Workplace Diversity
- Bradford Berry, Deputy Bureau Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
5:05 — Presentations from Baltimore Digital Equity Practitioners
- Tacha Marshall, M.S., Senior Paralegal, Disability Rights Maryland
- Cody L. Dorsey, Executive Director, Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition
- Kenny Clash, CITO Kenny Clash, Enoch Pratt Free Library
- Taylor Carter-Desanto, Baltimore City, Office of the Mayor
- Samantha Musgrave, Director, Project Waves
- Susan Malone, Executive Director, Wide Angle Youth Media
- Sherrod Davis, Founding Member, Baltimore Tracks
This regional listening session will be part of the record in response to the FCC's recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on potential rules to address digital discrimination of access to broadband, pursuant to section 60506 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. Specifically, in the Preventing Digital Discrimination NPRM, the Commission proposes to (1) adopt a definition of "digital discrimination of access," (2) revise the Commission's informal consumer complaint process to accept complaints of digital discrimination of access, and (3) adopt model policies and best practices for states and localities combating digital discrimination. The Preventing Digital Discrimination NPRM also seeks comment on other rules the Commission should adopt to facilitate equal access and combat digital discrimination, and the legal authority for adopted rules.
Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities were available upon request.
Additional information about the listening sessions and the Task Force's work can be found at: https://www.fcc.gov/task-force-prevent-digital-discrimination. To contact or request a meeting with the Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination, email PreventDigitalDiscrimination@fcc.gov.