On June 22, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission’s (Commission) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) sought comments on the temporary small business exemption to the 2015 Open Internet Order’s Enhanced Transparency Rule.
Among other provisions, the Commission’s recent Open Internet Order includes an “enhanced transparency” rule that builds on the transparency requirements adopted in the 2010 Open Internet Order. (The original rule was the only provision in the 2010 Order upheld by the D.C. Circuit in Verizon v. FCC.) The Enhanced Transparency Rule requires approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before becoming effective, but the Rule will eventually require that broadband Internet access service (BIAS) providers make certain additional disclosures regarding network performance, commercial terms, and network management practices. These disclosures are required to be in a consumer-friendly, accessible format.
Recognizing that the Enhanced Transparency Rule would heavily burden smaller BIAS providers, the Commission carved out a temporary exemption from the new rule for BIAS providers serving 100,000 or fewer customers.