FCC decision hurts small businesses, Upton says

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) was joined by House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday in expressing disappointment over a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision that fails to provide permanent protection for small businesses.

The FCC’s decision fails to provide permanent protection for small businesses from heightened disclosure requirements that were included in the FCC’s open Internet order.

“Permanent protection should have been an easy call, but the FCC fumbled it,” Upton said. “Consumers will be hurt the most as the smaller Internet service providers in Michigan and across the nation are forced to invest in compliance with the burdensome rules, rather than in better service to their customers. The FCC should save the red tape for Christmas, not our small businesses.”

Thirty-five House members wrote to the FCC last month, calling for a permanent exemption from the open Internet order’s enhanced transparency requirements for small businesses. The letter included every Republican member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, as well as every Republican member of the Small Business Committee.

“Small businesses across the country have more than enough on their plate without the prospect of new regulations from unelected bureaucrats in Washington,” Chabot said. “Today’s decision to provide only temporary relief does little to help job creators as they work to ensure millions of Americans have access to state-of-the-art broadband networks.”

Communications and Technology Subcommittee Greg Walden (R-OR) echoed Upton and Chabot, saying that the FCC missed a chance to give a permanent victory to both consumers and small Internet providers.

“With Internet service for millions, and thousands of jobs on the line, the commission should be encouraging innovation and deployment instead of forcing costly burdensome regulations of questionable benefit to consumers on these small companies,” Walden said. “It was smart to protect small businesses and consumers from these requirements in the first place. It’s time for the commission to make these temporary protections permanent once and for all.”

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