Dale Curtis
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Wireless Broadband Providers Urge FCC to Consider Impacts on Small Business in Its “Open Internet” Proceeding


Washington, DC (May 9, 2017) – Seventy small business leaders whose companies provide fixed wireless broadband service in under-served communities across the nation today submitted a joint letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), expressing support for the agency’s Open Internet proceeding. 

The 70 business leaders, all members of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (www.WISPA.org), tell the FCC, “We are proud of the fact that, with the benefit of relatively low deployment costs, we are investing private, at-risk capital to build networks serving [consumers] in areas that other providers choose not to serve.” 

However, the companies’ various business challenges “are exacerbated by the Title II Order the FCC adopted in 2015, which has significantly increased compliance burdens and regulatory risk through heavy-handed regulation that is rife with uncertainty.”

The WISPA members call on the FCC to keep three points in mind in the Open Internet proceeding. First, “we support, and have always supported” the consumer protection principles that help ensure an open and competitive internet. “We support retention of ‘bright line’ rules that prohibit blocking and throttling of traffic, and we oppose paid prioritization. We also support requirements to clearly disclose service terms to customers” and “do not sell our customers’ browsing data or other private information to third parties.” 

Second, the WISPA group supports efforts to reverse the classification of broadband providers as “common carriers,” subject to extensive FCC regulations, and instead calls for “a return to the pre-2015 environment in which light-touch regulation enabled our businesses to get off the ground and become successful.” The group supports eliminating the general conduct rule, a “vague and open-ended catch-all” that potentially subjects legitimate business practices to FCC investigations and regulations. 

Third, the group says the FCC “should always bear in mind that small businesses face disproportionate burdens in complying with ‘one-size-fits-all’ regulations” – burdens which delay build-outs to unserved areas and which create competitive advantages for larger competitors that can better absorb the costs. 

Most U.S. WISPs are small and medium-sized businesses serving rural areas, with an average of about 1,200 customers and fewer than 10 employees. FCC regulations designed to treat all internet providers like large monopoly utilities are taking resources away from investment in broadband networks in under-served areas and diverting them toward lawyers and compliance consultants instead. 

When FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan was first announced two weeks ago, WISPA President Alex Phillips said, “We appreciate that Chairman Pai intends to run an open, transparent process, and we look forward to working with the FCC to develop a regulatory scheme that enhances investment, innovation, and consumer choice, especially in under-served areas.”


WISPA is a membership-driven trade association that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the fixed wireless internet service provider industry. For more information, visit www.wispa.org.

Media Inquiries:

Dale Curtis for WISPA, dale@dalecurtiscommunications.comTel: (202) 495-3701 (office) or 202-246-5659 (mobile)
Breyana Franklin, breyana@dalecurtiscommunications.com, 301-346-0056 (mobile)

All Other Inquiries:

Trina Coffey, tcoffey@wispa.org, 866-317-2851

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Below is a list of WISPA press releases and news articles about the Association and Industry.

December 16, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Extremely Disappointed by FCC’s Inaction on Small Business Exemption
December 13, 2016
WISPAclips: News from Around the Internet - 12/13/16
December 5, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Raise Concerns About Impacts of AT&T-Time Warner Merger; Call On Federal Authorities to Reject It
November 7, 2016
WISPAclips: News from Around the Internet - 11/07/16
October 27, 2016
Fixed Wireless Broadband Providers Appreciate FCC’S Sensitivity to Small Broadband Providers in New Consumer Privacy Rules
October 13, 2016
Fixed Wireless Industry Poised for Robust Growth and Greater Policy Activism (WISPAPALOOZA Wrapup)
September 20, 2016
WISPA Teams with METAvivor for Pink Day at WISPAPALOOZA
August 12, 2016
WISPA Elects New Officers and Board Members for 2016-2017 Term
August 10, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Applaud Federal Court Decision on Municipal Broadband
July 25, 2016
A Growing Consensus That the FCC Must Change Course on Privacy
June 15, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Welcome Senate Committee Vote to Protect Small Businesses and Rural Americans
June 14, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Disappointed by Court's Decision Upholding FCC Regulations
June 8, 2016
Experts to FCC: Change Course on Broadband Privacy Rules
May 25, 2016
Small Internet Service Providers Applaud FCC Action to Promote Broadband Build-Out in Under-Served Areas
May 19, 2016
New Overtime Rules Affect Small Businesses
March 16, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Praise the U.S. House for Protecting Small Businesses and Rural Americans
February 25, 2016
House Committee Action Paves Way to Progress in Full House and Senate
January 12, 2016
WISPA Asks Congress For ISP Small Business Regulatory Certainty
December 16, 2015

WISPA Hails FCC Decision Extending Small Business Relief
November 20, 2015

WISPA Applauds House of Representatives for Support of Small Business Exemption from New Open Internet Disclosure
October 6, 2015

WISPA Appoints New Committee Chairpersons, Officers and Welcomes Elected Board of Directors
August 13, 2015

WISPA Responds to FCC’s Unlicensed TV Band Spectrum Ruling
June 29, 2015

(Wireless Week) - WISPA: Wi-Fi, LTE-U Coexistence Requires More than Just “Benign Intentions”
June 2, 2015

The FCC’s Extension of U-NII Compliance Deadline Benefits WISPA and The Fixed Wireless Industry
May 19, 2015

WISPA Meets With Policymakers on Capitol Hill
May 12, 2015

WISPA Holds Policy Summit in Washington D.C.
May 5, 2015

WISPA Board Member Appointed to FCC Consumer Advisory Committee
May 1, 2015

WISPA Asks FCC to Stay Title II and Internet Conduct Rules
April 28, 2015

WISPA Files For Court Review of FCC’s Open Internet Order
April 17, 2015

WISPA Applauds the FCC’s New Spectrum Sharing Ruling
March 2, 2015

WISPAmerica 2015 Surpasses Attendance Record
February 26, 2015 

Municipal Broadband Ruling by FCC Jeopardizes Private Sector Investments
February 26, 2015  

Open Internet Ruling Receives Mixed Reaction from the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association
February 25, 2015

WISPA Comments on the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Hearing
February 10, 2015

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly to Keynote at WISPAmerica 2015
February 4, 2015

WISPA Urges Regulators to Defer Vote on Net Neutrality Rules
January 21, 2015

WISPA Responds to State of the Union
January 5, 2015

New WISPA Website and Member Portal Coming Soon!