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FCC Aims to Reduce Small Businesses Regulation

January 30, 2017.

Last month, the small business exemption from the Title II Order’s expanded reporting requirements expired.

That lapse left thousands of our nation’s smallest and most competitive Internet service providers—mom-and-pop wireless Internet service providers (WISPs), small cable operators, municipal broadband providers, electric cooperatives, rural telephone companies, and others—worried that they would be subject to unnecessary, onerous, and ill-defined reporting obligations.

Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman said, " Today, I am pleased to announce that I have circulated to my colleagues an order that would waive for five years the enhanced transparency reporting requirements for small businesses with no more than 250,000 subscribers. This order mirrors the bipartisan compromise reflected in the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act of 2017—legislation introduced by Chairman Greg Walden of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Representative Dave Loebsack (and which has received a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives), as well as Senators Steve Daines and Joe Manchin.

Federal regulations have a disproportionate effect on small businesses—businesses that are often the linchpin of a more competitive marketplace and that don’t necessarily have compliance resources.

Accordingly, I believe the FCC should be sensitive to the impact regulations can have on such businesses. I have proposed and voted in favor of this exemption in order to be faithful to that commitment, and I am pleased to report that I am not alone. My colleague Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has authorized me to say that he has done the same.

I remain hopeful that the full Commission will adopt this bipartisan compromise swiftly. Further delay will only force the companies to divert scarce resources away from investing in rural America and toward filling out needless paperwork."

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