"Congress gave the FCC a clear and important directive – ensure that all Americans have non-discriminatory access to high-quality broadband infrastructure. That is a goal the cable industry fully supports and has a proven track record of delivering, offering state-of-the-art broadband throughout our service areas regardless of income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin.
"Instead of implementing Congress’ focused directive, the FCC is instead asserting expansive new authority over virtually every aspect of the broadband marketplace, including pricing, marketing, discounts, credit checks, customer-premises equipment, deposits, late fees, equipment rentals, installation times, mandatory arbitration clauses, contract renewals, service terminations, and use of customer credit and account history. And these sweeping rules will extend beyond broadband to encompass entire additional industries, from real estate owners and building landlords to marketing firms as well as contractors and consultants.
"In combining the tremendous scope of these rules with the improper adoption of a disparate impact standard (one that includes income as a protected class), the FCC has manufactured an environment that makes standard business practices – from credit checks to uniform pricing to deposits for equipment – potentially unlawful. Many, if not most, long-standing, uniform business practices could be seen to have differential impacts on consumers with different income levels.
"The FCC’s regulatory overreach will prove impossible to administer and impossible to comply with. Regrettably, today’s action will distract the FCC from combatting true digital discrimination and will hurt our national effort to deliver high-speed internet to all Americans and continue to roll out innovative broadband services."