WISPA Asks Congress For ISP Small Business Regulatory Certainty

                                                                           Bowles Testimony Supports Relief for Small Broadband Providers

Saint Cloud, FL (January 12, 2016) – The Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPA) today provided testimony before the House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology in Washington D.C.. WISPA Legislative Committee Co-Chair L. Elizabeth Bowles stated that Congress was justified in passing two proposed bills – the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act and the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act (H.R. 2666).   The first would permanently exempt small broadband providers from new disclosure rules, and the second would prevent the FCC from imposing rate regulation on broadband providers. Both would reverse actions the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took in its February 2015 Open Internet Order.

In her written testimony regarding the new disclosure obligations, Ms. Bowles stated that “the FCC failed to consider adequately the costs that will be imposed on consumers, which in turn led to the flawed decision to impose ‘one size fits all’ regulatory burdens on the small broadband providers that serve those consumers.”   She added that ”we would not be here today asking Congress to step in” if the FCC had followed the one-sided record and permanently exempted small businesses from these rules.  

Ms. Bowles also asked Congress to eliminate the uncertainty presented by the possibility of rate regulation under Title II of the Communications Act.  “Eliminating the prospect of rate regulation will, especially for small ISPs, remove a significant component of regulatory uncertainty, and will help to re-open the door to more extensive innovation and deployment,” she said.  Ms. Bowles added that competition in the broadband marketplace should lead to lower rates for consumers.

WISPA supports an Open Internet under the “light touch” regulations the FCC adopted in 2010, but believes that legislation is necessary to ensure that small broadband providers can continue to innovate and invest in their networks to expand service to more rural Americans that lack choice in broadband access.

WISPA is a membership-driven trade association that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the fixed wireless Internet service provider industry. WISPA has over 800 members that support WISPA’s advocacy, education and other collaborative industry initiatives. For more information, visit www.wispa.org.

Legislative Inquiries:
L. Elizabeth Bowles
Tel: 501.374.4638

Media Inquiries:
Forbes Mercy
WISPA Promotions Chair
Tel: (509) 307.7777