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ACA Asks OMB To Address Paperwork Burdens Imposed By FCC Enhanced Transparency Requirements

Group Repeats Call For Extending Small ISP Exemption For An Additional Year

PITTSBURGH, September 13, 2016 - As part of its 2015 Open Internet Order, the Federal Communications Commission adopted enhanced transparency requirements, requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to collect and disclose additional information beyond that provided for in the 2010 Open Internet rules about the provision and performance of their broadband Internet access service.

These enhanced requirements have not taken effect yet because the "data collection" has not been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act.  In comments filed on Sept. 12 with OMB, the American Cable Association expressed its appreciation again for the FCC for addressing some of the burdens imposed by the new requirements, but explained that many data collection burdens remain that impose significant costs on smaller ISPs.  ACA, therefore, called on OMB to alleviate these outstanding burdens, and it stated the FCC should extend the "small ISP exemption," which frees these ISPs from complying with the enhanced requirements and which currently terminates on December 15, 2016.

"Given that smaller providers will face significant burdens from the Open Internet enhanced transparency requirements, OMB needs to use its Paperwork Reduction Act authority to step in and alleviate these excessive costs.  In addition, because of initial and ongoing uncertainties regarding compliance requirements, which are likely regardless of any OMB intervention, and because any OBM approved requirements will still impose costs on small ISPs, the FCC should again extend the small provider exemption for at least another year," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

In the OMB comments, ACA applauded the FCC for giving smaller ISPs flexibility to measure and disclose new network performance characteristics, such as packet-loss, but it continued to argue that other new requirements would impose substantial costs on smaller ISPs.  ACA asked that OMB work with the FCC in the PRA process to alleviate the remaining substantial burdens imposed by the network practice and notification requirements.

ACA explained that in addition to known burdens on smaller broadband providers, these providers believe, based on their experiences in implementing the original 2010 transparency rules, that they are certain to face additional burdens driven by as yet unknown circumstances or events, such as the need for a broadband provider to assess and disclose the impact on the performance of their service from the introduction of new offerings by edge providers.

About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 750 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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