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ACA Applauds FCC Extension of Transparency Exemption

The American Cable Association pushed the FCC to make its temporary small businesses waiver of enhanced transparency reporting under new network neutrality rules permanent, but given that it was about to sunset, was pleased the FCC extended the waiver another year.

"ACA appreciates the decision of the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau to extend for one year the small business exemption from the Open Internet Order's enhanced transparency requirements," said ACA president Matthew Polka, "even though ACA believes the record supported a permanent exemption now."

The waiver has been extended until Dec. 16, 2016 to give the FCC time to collect more data on the impact of the enhanced disclosure. "ACA thus understands the Bureau's position that it makes sense to address extending or making permanent the small business exemption once these actions are completed," said Polka.

He was also pleased the chairman decided to raise the issue to a bureau level decision next year—it was delegated to the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau this time around.

CTIA was not so happy with the temporary fix or the fact that the FCC stuck with a definition of small broadband provider as 100,000 or fewer subs.

"Given the ample support in the record and from Congressional leaders, it is disappointing that the Commission did not act to grant a permanent exemption from the onerous disclosure requirements in the Open Internet Order," said CTIA VP of regulatory affairs Scott Bergmann. "These burdensome requirements are particularly challenging for small broadband providers and will divert scarce resources away from expanding and improving mobile broadband to their communities. We urge the Commission to act promptly to make its exemption permanent and revise the definition of a small broadband provider in line with definitions approved by the Small Business Administration."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.