Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

FCC Votes to Reduce Transparency Requirements of Mid-Sized ISPs

Sam Gustin, Vice:

Broadband providers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers were already exempt from the net neutrality transparency requirements. But Thursday’s action boosts the exemption limit to companies with as many as 250,000 subscribers, a substantial increase that could affect as many as 9.7 million consumers, mostly in rural and underserved communities, according to Sen. Markey’s office.

By increasing the exemption limit, Pai has eliminated the transparency requirements for many firms that are actually local or regional subsidiaries of the nation’s largest broadband companies, which remain subject to the disclosure rules, according to FCC Commissioner Clyburn.

“Many of the nation’s largest broadband providers are actually holding companies, comprised of many smaller operating companies,” said Clyburn. “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.”

ISPs with up to 250,000 subscribers are no longer required to provide detailed information about speeds, reliability, or pricing.

Net neutrality won’t be eliminated in a single swoop. It will be dismantled piece-by-piece over the next four years, beginning earlier this month when Chairman Ajit Pai stopped investigating self-benefitting zero rating schemes. Today’s action is the next step towards bleeding out net neutrality regulations and requirements. It’s outrageous.