H.R. 4596: “Small Business Broadband Deployment Act”

By at 15 March, 2016, 11:52 am

UPDATE: On March 16, 2016 the U.S. House passed H.R. 4596 by a vote of 411-0.

The Honorable Greg Walden

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC  20515


Dear Representative Walden:

On behalf of the 100,000 members of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), I am pleased to support H.R. 4596, the “Small Business Broadband Deployment Act.”

Small businesses dominate almost every industry in America, and the telecommunications sector is no different.  In fact, 83 percent of firms within this sector have fewer than 20 workers. This is the message we continually convey in outreach to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on regulatory matters. SBE Council expressed many concerns about the Open Internet order and Title II regulation, and what this could mean for investment in broadband infrastructure and its impact on small businesses and entrepreneurs. We specifically noted how small ISPs would divert capital away from investment and serving customers to regulatory compliance and legal issues, and how this could impact competitiveness.

The FCC’s order contained an important exemption for small businesses.  That temporary exemption is scheduled to expire.  H.R. 4596 extends by five years the temporary exemption granted to small businesses by the FCC from the additional and costly disclosure requirements of its order. While we believe the definition of small business, as it relates to subscriber base, should be more expansive, H.R. 4596 will protect the most vulnerable firms and the consumers who depend upon the important service provided by these small businesses.

Thank you for your leadership on this important issue.


Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

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