News & Announcements, Resources

Digital Discrimination: Moving Forward in the New Frontier.

April 10, 2024

Digital Discrimination Rules Have Been Implemented.

The FCC’s Digital Discrimination rules were implemented on March 22nd. Learn more about these rules here. While legislative disputes are expected, Vantage Point is available to help you navigate these new rules, understand how they apply to you, and guide you on what steps your ISP should be taking immediately to comply.

1. Documentation is critical. 

Mike Neeley
By Mike Neeley, J.D. | Manager of Regulatory & Legal

To safeguard your ISP effectively, Vantage Point strongly advises taking proactive steps to establish and maintain comprehensive documentation of the rationale behind selecting specific areas for expansion and equipment maintenance.

This documentation should clearly articulate the basis of these decisions:

  • Was the choice influenced by economic factors?
  • What methods were used to evaluate the costs?
  • What criteria determined the preference for Location A over Location B?
  • What kind of due diligence was undertaken?

We also urge you to prepare for the possibility of more stringent compliance reporting requirements that may be introduced in the future. Investing time now to develop a robust framework for recording your decision-making processes will prove far more beneficial than facing potential fines down the line. Establishing this groundwork not only aligns with best practices but also ensures readiness for any regulatory changes.

2. Use internal policies to guide your decisions.

When navigating the complexities of digital discrimination, your internal policies should be reviewed.

  • Do they adequately address and prevent digital discrimination?
  • Are you making strategic decisions to maintain compliance?
  • When was the last time your internal policies were updated?

Consider the methodology behind your package pricing strategies as well. Even policies designed to be neutral on their face can lead to non-neutral outcomes, posing a risk of unintentional liability under the digital discrimination rules. Vantage Point strongly suggests enlisting an external review by an expert to examine your internal guidelines. Taking proactive steps to ensure your policies are both comprehensive and up-to-date will serve as a safeguard against unintended discrimination and the legal repercussions that may follow.

3. Review packages and pricing before Broadband Nutrition Labels are mandated.

With Broadband Label requirements right around the corner, now is the time to analyze your pricing and package offerings. As part of the labeling requirements, ISPs must display any recurring monthly charges, one-time fees, and charges or reductions in services. Updating your packages and pricing now could protect your ISP from a costly change to these labels later.

The Vantage Point team is available to assist you as you navigate Digital Discrimination and the future of Broadband Labels. Reach out to us today to receive additional guidance on adhering to these rules and preparing your ISP for future success.

Contact Mike Neeley