With a big assist from Congress, the FCC has been working non-stop to make high-speed internet and broadband-enabled services more accessible for all. Just last week, we announced that more than 10 million U.S. households have enrolled in the Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program, the largest-ever initiative to help families and people across the country afford broadband. With our March agenda, we build on this progress in a variety of ways.
- We’re examining digital discrimination. Your zip code shouldn’t determine your access to broadband. Internet access is a must-have for work, healthcare, school, and beyond, but some communities are experiencing unequal opportunities to subscribe to high-speed internet service. That’s why the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law directs the Commission to prevent internet providers from engaging in “digital discrimination.” The Commission will consider a Notice of Inquiry seeking public comment on what rules the Commission should adopt to prevent digital discrimination and to ensure all people in the United States has equal access to broadband. I recently announced a cross-agency task force that will support this effort.
- We’re facilitating the deployment of broadband infrastructure. Easy, predictable access to poles can significantly speed the deployment and lower the cost of broadband infrastructure. We will take up a rulemaking exploring ways to expedite the resolution of pole replacement disputes by establishing clear standards for when and how utilities and attachers must share in the costs of a pole replacement that is precipitated by a new attachment request.
- We’re funding more awards for telehealth. We will consider the fourth round of awards for the Connected Care Pilot Program, helping a range of nonprofit and public health care providers connect with their patients. This final round of funding will support internet access for patients and providers, focusing on connected care for veterans, maternal health and high-risk pregnancy, public health epidemics, opioid dependency, mental health, and chronic conditions.
- We will consider an adjudicatory matter from the Media Bureau.
- We will consider a national security matter.