WISPA Comments on the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Hearing

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#SubCommTech: “Uncertain Future of the Internet”

Wireless Internet Service Providers Association

WISPA

The threat presented by the application of Title II requirements could place an unreasonable burden on these small businesses and could derail their ability to expand into new underserved markets.

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), a membership organization that promotes the development, advancement, and unity of the fixed wireless Internet service provider industry, applauds the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, for holding a hearing today to discuss the President’s Net Neutrality proposal*. Coming as it does on the eve of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) vote on whether to regulate the Internet under Title II the hearing could not be more timely.

“WISPA is deeply concerned about the possible harm to small business broadband providers should heavy-handed Title II regulation be implemented,” said Elizabeth Bowles, WISPA Legislative Chair. “The bi-partisan light-touch regulation put in place in 2010 was appropriate and has resulted in innovation and growth in the industry.”

WISPA’s members offer broadband Internet access predominantly in underserved rural areas typically without government subsidies. The threat presented by the application of Title II requirements could place an unreasonable burden on these small businesses and could derail their ability to expand into new underserved markets. In the worst case, additional regulation could drive smaller broadband service providers out of business, depriving current customers of much needed broadband Internet access.

“The specter of Title II regulation, even with forbearance, is a daunting concept that could jeopardize and discourage investment,” Bowles said. “The fact that the FCC has not made its proposal public in advance of the vote means that we are speculating in the dark. This makes it difficult for small businesses to know how to prepare and creates uncertainty. In the end, if the FCC elects to implement a burdensome regulatory regime, that regime must include a carve-out that exempts small businesses.”

WISPA applauds the Subcommittee’s willingness to engage this issue. Regardless of the outcome of the FCC’s ruling tomorrow, WISPA encourages Congress to continue to remain vigilant in protecting the small businesses and private investment that has made the Internet strong.

About WISPA
WISPA is a membership-driven trade association that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the fixed wireless Internet service provider industry. WISPA has over 800 members that support WISPA’s advocacy, education and other collaborative industry initiatives. For more information, visit http://www.wispa.org.

*http://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/subcommtech-discuss-effects-presidents-net-neutrality-proposal February 18th, 2015

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L. Elizabeth Bowles
WISPA
501.374.4638
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Suzanne Urash
WISPA
813-649-8504
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