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WISPA Urges Compromise Approach to H.R. 1644's Title II Policy, One Which Fosters Small Rural Internet Providers' Role in Bridging Digital Divide

WISPA Urges Compromise Approach to H.R. 1644's Title II Policy, One Which Fosters Small Rural Internet Providers' Role in Bridging Digital Divide

Washington, DC, April 10, 2019 – Today, the House passed H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act of 2019.  WISPA’s members provide fixed wireless broadband service to millions of rural Americans, and support transparent Internet openness.  While WISPA hopes this action represents the beginning of a bi-partisan process to help further the rollout of high-speed broadband to all Americans, we still remain concerned that re-imposing 85-year-old, Title II telephone regulation on the Internet is inapt for boosting Internet growth.  However, in the House’s efforts to address problems caused by behemoth ISPs, they are in essence building roadblocks for small and rural ISPs to deliver their services to their communities, almost exclusively in un-served and under-served rural America. 

WISPA believes, and we think the marketplace has proven, that when government uses “light touch” policies, such as the current FCC regulations which have resulted in more transparency and choice for consumers across the U.S., government actually encourages ISPs to invest in deployment.  The beneficiaries of such a “light touch” approach will undoubtedly be the communities that small ISPs like WISPs serve, allowing them to grow and thrive.  WISPA remains hopeful that Members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle will recognize that small, rural ISPs like WISPs are not the bad actors and that the burdens such legislation can have on small rural providers are real and can thwart provision of service to the very communities its policy seeks to serve.  

“We look forward to working with all members of Congress throughout this process, helping it craft answers that foster the role small rural Internet providers play in bridging the digital divide,” said WISPA president & CEO, Claude Aiken.  “We urge Congress to seek compromise and work to accommodate the ‘light touch’ approach to Internet openness that protects consumers and promotes transparency, ultimately benefitting Internet users and encouraging broadband deployment.

“As always, we stand ready to work with Congress as it seeks to promote the availability of affordable, high-speed Internet access for all Americans, no matter where they live.”

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.


Mike Wendy


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