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ACA: FCC’s Title II Regs Will Hurt Smaller ISPs And Their Users

PITTSBURGH, February 26, 2015 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission vote to reclassify broadband ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act:

"FCC actions are supposed to be based on data, not conjecture.  Yet, in adopting the Open Internet Order today, the FCC ignores uncontested data in the record demonstrating that imposing Title II regulation on small and mid-sized ISPs beyond the three "bright line" Net Neutrality rules will impose burdens without benefit to an open Internet.  As a result of this ‘unreasoned' action, the FCC inflicts upon small and mid-sized ISPs unwarranted and irreparably harmful common carrier rules that have nothing to do with ensuring Net Neutrality. 

"From statements at today's FCC public meeting, it appears that the FCC Chairman's proposed Order has been changed to provide a temporary exemption from enhanced transparency rules for some small ISPs and that small ISPs will be shielded from having to defend their practices against federal class action lawsuits.  While ACA appreciates this, it provides virtually no solace for smaller ISPs that will be swept under by a tsunami of new and totally alien regulatory requirements contained in the final Order.  Compliance with these new rules will be costly, and these increased costs will affect the subscriber revenues essential to support the provision and improvement of broadband services and continued network investments, despite FCC assurances to the contrary.

"ACA is disappointed with the overall action, but it is most distressed that the FCC acted contrary to the facts.  Small and medium-sized ISPs are not the root of any open Internet problem, and they should have been held harmless from the collateral damage of unnecessary Title II regulation.  Accordingly, ACA intends to pursue every avenue available to protect its members and their subscribers, including by potentially filing a Petition for Review in the courts."

About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America.  Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business.  For more information, visit http://www.americancable.org/

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