In a Win for Rural Americans and Small Businesses, FCC Expands and Extends Regulatory Exemption for Five Years
Washington, DC (February 23, 2017) – The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) is applauding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for voting today to expand and extend an exemption for small broadband providers from enhanced transparency requirements under the Open Internet Order.
“The FCC’s action is a big win for rural Americans and small businesses,” said Alex Phillips, President of WISPA. “It will protect rural and under-served communities from bearing the brunt of regulatory costs, and it will allow small ISPs to invest more time and money in services, equipment, and jobs, not in legal and consulting fees.”
The FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order introduced heightened transparency requirements for all broadband Internet access service providers. After recognizing the burden these requirements presented for small ISPs – which typically have small staffs and limited capital – the FCC temporarily exempted ISPs with 100,000 or fewer connections from these new requirements. The FCC extended the exemption once, through December 2016, but then allowed it to lapse. Today’s FCC action reinstates the exemption for another five years and extends it to providers with 250,000 or fewer connections.
At both the FCC and in Congress, WISPA and other associations have been advocating for a permanent extension of the exemption, which would provide greater incentives for long-term investment by small ISPs. The FCC's public record was overwhelmingly in favor of a permanent extension.
The U.S. House recently voted for the second time, on an overwhelming bipartisan basis, in favor of The Small Business Broadband Deployment Act (HR 288), which would codify a five-year exemption for ISPs with 250,000 or fewer subscribers.
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.
Dale Curtis for WISPA, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: (202) 495-3701 (office) or 202-246-5659 (mobile)
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