NMHC Files Petition to Appeal New FCC Digital Discrimination Rule

by Channing Hamilton

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) has filed a petition to appeal the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Digital Discrimination Rule. The new rule includes property owners as a “covered entity,” which would hold housing providers liable under the FCC’s enforcement scheme if adequate broadband internet connectivity is not available to its renters. The rule is slated to go into effect on March 22, 2024.

NMHC stated in a press release that while it supports the goal of ending digital discrimination, it feels the new rule is overly broad and “would risk freezing investment in broadband deployment, thereby limiting renter access at the very same time the federal government is providing historic funding to end the digital divide.”

NMHC further explained that the rule could allow the FCC to limit other practices such as property access control, infrastructure cost-share agreements, bulk billing arrangements and managed Wi-Fi.

“NMHC urged the FCC to focus where the digital divide actually exists — in smaller, lower-income multifamily communities, where broadband providers have made the economic decision not to upgrade infrastructure or serve a community because of its perceived lack of profitability,” the release concludes.

You may also like