Reps. Offer Smaller ISPs Some Reg Help

Groups representing smaller ISPs were applauding the introduction Thursday, Sept. 14, of the bipartisan Small Entity Regulatory Relief Opportunity Act.

Getting that applause were co-sponsors Reps. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.).

The bill, according to the American Cable Association, would streamline procedures for smaller entities when they seek waivers or other regulatory relief, rather than simply relying on case-by-case measures.

Related: ACA: FCC Needs More Input on VoIP Robocall Proposal

The result said ACA, is less cost and more regulatory certainty.

The bill would also "provide a one-year grace period before new regulations apply to small entities after they become effective for larger businesses, except in certain cases where statute specifically bans deferment or to protect public safety" and "direct the FCC to review all existing regulations applicable to operations of service providers to determine whether there is a good cause for relief to be granted to smaller entities," according to Latta's office.

"The American Cable Association strongly supports Reps. Latta and Schrader in their effort to help cut governmental red tape for small businesses," said ACA President Matt Polka. "For too long, government agencies have failed to appreciate that locally based small businesses do not have the same ability as major national corporations with fleets of lawyers to comply with expansive regulatory mandates."

Reminding Washington of that fact has been the unofficial mission statement of ACA since the beginning.

Joining ACA in praise for the bill was NTCA: The Rural Broadband Association.

“NTCA greatly appreciates the focus of Reps. Latta and Schrader on unique small business regulatory challenges,” said senior VP of industry affairs and business development Michael Romano. “To be able to focus on the business of deploying and delivering broadband, small rural broadband providers need a regulatory regime that properly accounts for the relative sizes of regulated entities and tailors rules accordingly to accomplish desired outcomes. We look forward to continuing the conversation with Congress about this and other measures that can help small businesses further deliver on the promise of broadband in rural America.”

John Eggerton

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.