FCC Extends Net Neutrality Rule Exemption for Small Carriers

Today, the FCC extended the temporary exemption from the enhanced net neutrality transparency requirements for small carriers for an additional year, until December 16, 2016. At that time, the FCC will consider whether the exemption should be further extended.

In the February 2015 Net Neutrality Order, the FCC required carriers to disclose “actual performance” metrics of their networks, including packet loss, to end users and edge providers and to notify end users if their particular use will trigger a network practice that is likely to have a significant impact on their service. Providers with fewer than 100,000 customers were exempt from providing these disclosures until December 15, 2015. Because the disclosures have not yet been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and there has been an outpouring of comments on the requirements, the FCC is extending the temporary exemption for one year until OMB can assess the full impact of the disclosures on small carriers.

RLECs should keep in mind that this extension only pertains to the enhanced net neutrality transparency requirements. Companies still must comply with the 2010 disclosure requirements for network management practices, service terms and conditions, etc. (See JSI’s April 13, 2015, e-Lert). Also note, small companies are subject to the other portions of the net neutrality rules that classified providers of broadband Internet access service as telecommunications providers.

If you have any questions concerning the temporary exemption or other net neutrality issues, please contact Valerie Wimer or Terri Parrilla at 301-459-7590.

Source: JSI e-Lert