RWA is pleased by the Federal Communications Commission’s (“Commission”) adoption of an Order exempting small businesses from the enhanced transparency requirements in the Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order.
Small broadband Internet access service (BIAS) providers had been exempted from the Commission’s enhanced transparency requirements since their initial adoption, yet the Commission inexplicably allowed this exemption to lapse in December despite bipartisan Congressional support for its extension. In response, RWA petitioned the Commission for a waiver of the application of the enhanced transparency requirements on behalf of its membership which consists of small rural wireless carriers. The Commission’s action today will ensure that small rural mobile wireless carriers – who continue to face substantial obstacles in expanding broadband services to the nation’s rural and underserved areas – do not face additional unnecessary regulatory burdens.
The five-year waiver will apply to BIAS providers with 250,000 or fewer broadband connections. This threshold encompasses RWA’s entire carrier membership, which is comprised of rural wireless carriers that serve fewer than 100,000 subscribers.