Broad Bipartisan Support For Exemption
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2016 - At the American Cable Association’s Summit 2016 in Washington, D.C., Rep. Mike Pompeo, member of the Energy & Commerce Committee, said he expects broad bipartisan support for legislation that would exempt Internet Service Providers with 250,000 subscribers or fewer from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Open Internet enhanced transparency requirements.
To relieve small ISPs from this onerous regulatory burden, the committee drafted the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act.
“It’s the only good news I can share with you this morning,” Pompeo said of the regulatory reform. “This legislation recognizes the differences in costs of regulatory compliance on small businesses. The FCC has recognized an exemption on a temporary basis. Our effort is to codify what the FCC has done and make it permanent so you can operate without these expensive rules that don’t make a lot of sense to the smallest businesses in America.”
Pompeo expects broad bipartisan support for the legislation – 350 votes or more. “There’s a reasonable chance that this will make it across the House floor,” he said. Once that happens, “I’m confident the Senate will pick it up as well. I think this is something we can actually get done.”
Pompeo was less confident on the Committee’s ability to pass legislation preventing the FCC from regulating broadband rates. Dubbed the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, the measure would codify that the FCC could not use its authority to regulate rates.
“This has turned out to be more partisan than I would have anticipated,” Pompeo said. “We didn’t get Democrat support in [the] first pass, and we are trying to find a way forward.”
Despite of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s statements that the FCC doesn’t intent to regulate rates, Pompeo said that Democratic resistance might be an indicator that Chairman Wheeler could change his position. “We think there are some who hope he will change and propose some kind of rate regulation. We are trying to prevent that from happening.”
The ACA Summit 2016 is taking place amid tremendous change in the regulatory arena managed by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, whether the issue is broadband regulation, retransmission consent reform, or media consolidation.
The ACA Summit connects small and mid-sized cable operators serving hometown America with the country’s leading lawmakers and regulators as well as media representatives who track communications policy in our nation’s capital. This year’s Summit coincides with important changes occurring in the regulatory arena managed by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission.
This signature event highlights the unique role played by nearly 750 independent cable operators in providing best-in-class communications services to millions of consumers living and working in some of the most remote areas of the country. Responding to the critical broadband infrastructure needs of rural America, ACA Members put their own capital at risk to supply the solutions.
Created as ACA emerged as a lobbying force in Washington, D.C., the ACA Summit gives independent cable operators a vehicle for framing the issues in their own words during dozens of meetings on Capitol Hill. Over the three-day event, ACA Members speak with one voice in making their views known on the diverse and complex issues they face on a daily basis.
ACA Members know they “Hold The Key To Reform!” – the theme of ACA Summit 2016 — just as they know that success will require persistence and determination in overcoming entrenched interests that keep a tight grip on their regulatory advantages.
The ACA Summit website includes event details and secure online registration. Please visit the ACA Summit 2016 website by clicking here: ACA Summit. The event took place at the Grand Hyatt, 1000 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 750 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit https://acaconnects.org/