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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday February 25 2017, @11:23PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the helping-the-big-boys dept.

ISPs with 250,000 or fewer subscribers won't have to follow rules that require greater disclosures about fees and data caps after a vote today [pdf] by the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC's Republican majority approved the change to help small providers avoid "onerous reporting obligations" included in the 2015 net neutrality order, they said. But by setting the threshold at 250,000 subscribers and exempting small ISPs owned by larger companies, the FCC is effectively "exempt[ing] billion-dollar public companies" from rules that can be complied with in mere hours each year, said Mignon Clyburn, the FCC's only Democrat.

The commission's 2015 order temporarily exempted ISPs with 100,000 or fewer subscribers from the so-called enhanced transparency requirements, but that exemption expired in December 2016. Clyburn said she would support reinstating the exemption for ISPs with 100,000 or fewer subscribers, but she [pdf] dissented from today's order.

The 250,000-subscriber exemption won't apply to the top broadband providers such as Comcast, Charter, AT&T, Verizon, and others. But it will exempt many ISPs owned by conglomerates, Clyburn said.

"Many of the nation's largest broadband providers are actually holding companies, comprised of many smaller operating companies," Clyburn said. "So what today's Order does is exempt these companies' affiliates that have under 250,000 connections by declining to aggregate the connection count at the holding company level."

The original exemption [pdf] for ISPs with 100,000 or fewer subscribers was applied to the aggregated total of subscribers "across all affiliates," so that small ISPs owned by big holding companies wouldn't be exempt. That changed today, according to Clyburn.

Source: ArsTechnica

Also at TechCrunch


Original Submission

Related Stories

Politics: FCC Guards Eject Reporter 37 comments

John M. Donnelly, a senior writer at CQ Roll Call, said he was trying to talk with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly one-on-one after a news conference when two plainclothes guards pinned him against a wall with the backs of their bodies.

Washington Post

“Not only did they get in between me and O’Rielly but they put their shoulders together and simultaneously backed me up into the wall and pinned me to the wall for about 10 seconds just as I started to say, “Commissioner O’Rielly, I have a question,” Donnelly said Friday.

Donnelly said he was stopped long enough to allow O’Rielly to walk away.

Los Angeles Times

Donnelly, who also happens to be chair of the National Press Club Press Freedom team, said he was then forced out of the building after being asked why he had not posed his question during the news conference.

O'Rielly apologized to Donnelly on Twitter, saying he didn't recognize Donnelly in the hallway. "I saw security put themselves between you, me and my staff. I didn't see anyone put a hand on you. I'm sorry this occurred."

Politico

According to the publication for which the reporter works (archived copy),

Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.

“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”

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  • (Score: 1) by boxfetish on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:26AM

    by boxfetish (4831) on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:26AM (#471739)

    Idjit Fucking Pie

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by davester666 on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:30AM

      by davester666 (155) on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:30AM (#471769)

      This is how Trump is fulfilling his campaign promise of being for the little people. Fighting against wall street and big corporations so that regular people get a fair shake.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:14AM (#471767)

    So what today's Order does is exempt these companies' affiliates that have under 250,000 connections by declining to aggregate the connection count at the holding company level

    What are some examples of such companies?

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:10AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:10AM (#471776)

    Thank you republicans...

  • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:43PM

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:43PM (#471950)

    I am an unhappy customer of one of the "big guys." I don't like ISP spying any more than I like Amazon purchase-tracking, etc.

    What I am wondering is if this whole "could be completed within hours" blurb is really the case. Even if it were, does somebody who handles reporting information to the Federal government need to be highly qualified? Most certainly. This does not suggest that they would leave themselves available on the dole for job openings which provided "a few hours a year" of work in the currently very small "local ISP" business community.

    I am certain that if said small ISP reported figures incorrectly that it could result in fines, levees, and legal fees that could bankrupt a fledging ISP in their first year of business. It really seems to me on the surface like this is just easing a burden.

    If the local small ISP isn't competing with the larger one, they aren't going to succeed, and thus this isn't a problem. However, if they're going to offer quality customer support and invest more money in ensuring uptime for their user-base, why not let them keep on doing what they're doing uninhibited until they're big enough? Even if it cost the company "Only a few days and $10,000" to get all of the stuff together - why? Why bug them? They're still paying business taxes - why not let them put that $10k toward a new water cooler?

    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Monday February 27 2017, @12:00PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Monday February 27 2017, @12:00PM (#472211)

      It appears that they would have to provide full disclosure of actual costs to the consumer as well as some network performance statistics. That does not appear too onerous to me, the first should be a given for any business and the second should be data they are already looking at for their own purposes.

      • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Monday February 27 2017, @02:55PM

        by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 27 2017, @02:55PM (#472290)

        That also sounds pretty reasonable, but I am still waiting for somebody to call me "Literally Hitler" for suggesting to reduce regulation.