Small Carriers Share Concerns about the Cumulative Impact of Regulation at CCA Mobile Carrier Show
by Jamie Saloom
Last week I had the opportunity to speak on a policy panel at the Competitive Carriers Association Mobile Carriers Show in Pittsburgh. I joined Danielle Thumann from the office of Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr, David Bartlett from Nokia, and Michael Lazarus of Telecommunication Law Professionals in a discussion about the most effective strategies for communicating with federal regulators about the impact of regulation, with particular attention on the challenges facing small businesses.
CCA members include many small companies who shared how the cumulative impact of regulation affects their ability to pursue opportunities to expand their networks. While they support many of the new regulatory initiatives the FCC has implemented, they are resource constrained. When agencies implement new rules, small businesses must shift resources away from one priority to another—it can easily become overwhelming and expensive to both comply with existing regulations and provide input to regulators on proposed regulatory changes. By the same token, staff at regulatory agencies are often overwhelmed and unable to adequately coordinate with large and diverse stakeholder groups to ensure that regulations are tailored to minimize costs and maximize benefits.
Congress created the Office of Advocacy to be a voice for small business in the regulatory process for precisely that reason. Our office engages with small business stakeholders to identify regulatory alternatives that reduce impacts for small businesses while allowing agencies, like the FCC, to pursue their goals. Through outreach with small businesses and their trade association representatives, our office has successfully achieved billions in cost savings for small businesses. I am looking forward to sharing what I heard from small businesses in Pittsburgh with the FCC so that we can work together on solutions to ease compliance burdens and increase small business participation in the policy process.