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Subcommittee OKs Permanent Enhanced Transparency Waiver

The House Communications Subcommittee has favorably reported a bill to the full committee that would grant a permanent waiver to smaller ISPs, like those represented by the American Cable Association, from the FCC's enhanced transparency requirements under new net neutrality rules.

The Small Business Broadband Deployment Act would also define "small businesses" eligible for the permanent waiver as 1,500 or fewer employees and 500,000 or fewer subs.

A Democratic amendment was offered, then withdrawn, that would have sunset the waiver after five years and set the cut-off at 100,000. Another amendment with a five-year sunset and 200,000 subs cut-off was not offered.

Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said his side had offered up a number less than the 500,000 and thought agreement could be reached by the time the bill was taken up in the full committee.

The FCC last fall deferred a decision on whether its temporary small business waiver from enhanced transparency should be extended or the cut-off adjusted.

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.