|"In the very first sentence of the Communications Act, Congress directs the Federal Communications Commission to help make communications services available to 'all the people of the United States … without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.' This language is not new. But it is time to address it with new urgency." – FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel|
Everyone, regardless of where they live and who they are, needs access to robust high speed broadband services for 21st century success. Where broadband networks get built shouldn’t be determined by the income, race, ethnicity, or religion of the communities they will serve. To promote equal access, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires the FCC to create rules and policies to address digital discrimination and redlining.
Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has announced the formation of a cross-agency Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination that will focus on creating rules and policies to combat digital discrimination and to promote equal access to broadband throughout the U.S., regardless of zip code, income level, ethnicity, race, religion, or national origin.
Congress also directed the FCC to develop model policies and best practices state and local governments could adopt to help prevent digital discrimination in their communities. The Task Force will also oversee this important work. Additionally, Congress has asked the FCC to review its consumer complaint process. The Task Force will also be working to improve the way the agency seeks feedback from consumers who may be facing digital discrimination in their communities.
At the FCC's March 16, 2022 Open Meeting, the Commission approved a Notice of Inquiry to start a proceeding (GN Docket No. 22-69) on these initiatives, which must be completed by November 2023 as directed by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The Leadership Team
D'wana Terry continues to serve as Acting Special Advisor to Chairwoman Rosenworcel, where she advises the Chairwoman on work the agency can do to identify and redress inequities in the FCC's policies and programs, and Acting Director of the FCC's Office of Workplace Diversity. The Office of Workplace Diversity develops, coordinates, evaluates, and recommends to the Commission policies, programs, and practices that foster a diverse workforce, and promotes and ensures equal employment opportunity (EEO) for all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, or sexual preference. In addition, D’wana has held several senior leadership positions in the Wireline Competition Bureau, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.
D'wana received her J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and her B.A. degree with a major in International Affairs and Mathematics from Lafayette College.
Sanford S. Williams joins the Task Force from the Office of the Chairwoman, whom he advises on work the agency can do to identify and expand opportunities for communities that have been historically underserved while also serving as a Deputy Managing Director of the FCC. Sanford has worked in various roles at the FCC since 1999. He also worked as an attorney for Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice and currently teaches at UCLA School of Law. Sanford serves as a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association Executive Committee.
At the age of 15, Sanford enrolled at Cornell University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in operations research and industrial engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Johnson School of Management. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review.
Alejandro Roark is Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) which develops and implements the commission’s consumer policies, including disability access. CGB serves as the public face of the commission through outreach and education, is responsible for responding to consumer inquiries and complaints, and maintains collaborative partnerships with state, local and Tribal governments. Prior to joining the FCC, Alejandro led a CEO roundtable of national Latino civil rights organizations working in partnership to promote access, adoption, and the full utilization of technology and telecommunications resources by the Latino community across the United States.
Alejandro received his Master's in Public Administration with a focus on applied politics, and his B.A. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government from American University.