Cramer: House Energy and Commerce Committee Advances Legislation to Protect Small Telecommunication Firms from Negative Impacts of Net Neutrality
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer joined a bi-partisan majority of his colleagues on the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee to pass H.R. 4596, the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act today. The bill makes permanent the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) temporary exemption from the enhanced disclosure rules for small businesses required by the commission’s Open Internet Order, commonly referred to as Net Neutrality.
“Most North Dakotans, including small businesses, are served by small telecommunication firms,” said Cramer. “This legislation ensures they do not have to waste resources to comply with the FCC’s one-size fits all regulations and can dedicate those resources to serving their customers.”
A bipartisan amendment was added to H.R. 4596 in committee which extends the small business exemption for five years, defines small businesses as internet service providers with 250,000 subscribers or less, and requires an FCC report about the definition of small businesses and the future of this exemption.
On Feb.11, Cramer discussed the bill and its impacts during a meeting of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee. View the discussion by clicking on the image below.
Cramer has long been an opponent of the FCC’s Net Neutrality decision. On Feb. 4, 2015, he made the following statement after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a series of proposed new regulations on internet services known as net neutrality:
“It is disappointing Chairman Wheeler has decided to use the weight of the federal bureaucracy to drastically change the way internet services are regulated, instead of allowing Congress to work on a bipartisan legislative solution. This rule threatens our free and open internet as a conduit for economic growth by reclassifying it as a utility. In the Energy and Commerce Committee, we have announced a bipartisan, bicameral legislative solution which would bring certainty to the internet services industry while not closing doors to investment and innovation.”
As a North Dakota Public Service Commissioner, Cramer penned an op-ed in the New York Times on net neutrality in 2009.
He is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and serves on the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.