November FCC Roundtable Roundup

The Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) regularly hosts roundtable discussions with small business stakeholders to understand the experiences, challenges, and recommendations of small businesses and identify alternative approaches for policy development at federal regulatory agencies. On November 1, 2023, Advocacy hosted a Small Business Telecommunications and Technology Roundtable focused on current regulatory issues at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Participants included small business owners and staff from trade associations that represent small businesses, including the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), the Internet and Competitive Networks Association (INCOMPAS), the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International), the Online Lenders Alliance (OLA), and Responsible Enterprises Against Consumer Harassment (REACH). 

The issues of most importance to roundtable participants included:

  • the FCC’s recently unveiled proposal to reclassify broadband as a communications service and reinstitute net neutrality rules;*
  • rules to curb digital discrimination;*
  •  the cost of utility pole replacement;
  • proposed regulations governing supplemental coverage from space;
  • increasing the size of the 5G fund;
  • administrative hurdles for rip and replace reimbursement;
  • the impact of improper call labeling and blocking on small businesses making legal calls;
  • and concerns about the impact of the FCC’s proposal to require 1-1 consent for text messaging on small businesses and consumers.

While the FCC is kicking into high gear with the recent confirmation of its fifth Commissioner, small businesses are busy keeping up with the FCC’s regulatory agenda. Advocacy staff is keeping their interests front and center at the FCC and will be following up with agency staff to discuss these issues. In addition, Advocacy will advocate for flexible approaches that support small businesses.

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