Published on March 16, 2016.
WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4596, the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act, to protect small businesses from burdensome regulations included in the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order.
Republican Main Street Partnership member and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Telecommunications Subcommittee Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) introduced the legislation.
“This legislation is a common sense approach that blocks unelected bureaucrats from complicating how internet service providers (ISPs) build their networks, deploy broadband, and improve connectivity,” said Sarah Chamberlain, President of the Republican Main Street Partnership. “Without this legislation, small businesses on Main Street would be forced to comply with regulations that would do nothing but increase the cost of doing business and stifle job creation.”
Despite a long bipartisan consensus that the Internet should be free from government regulation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year adopted a proposal that would give itself broad control to regulate the Internet, with unilateral authority to decide what services providers can and can’t offer to customers.
H.R. 4596 would exempt ISPs from the Open Internet Order if they have less than 250,000 subscribers, while still making sure that information required to be disclosed to consumers is transparent.
H.R. 4596 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 411-0.