PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Advocate for Entrepreneurs Warns Senators: CRA to Restore Innovation-Smothering Internet Regulation Will Harm Small Businesses, Access to Digital Economy

By at 16 May, 2018, 10:32 am

NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – The United States Senate is expected to vote on a congressional review act (CRA) resolution to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” order, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) is urging Senators to reject the move as it will burden small providers, small businesses, and consumers with new costs and less access to quality broadband and innovative tools. The vote on the CRA is expected today.

As SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan noted in her letter to all U.S. Senators:

“One of the big myths being perpetrated to restore onerous, 1930s utility-style regulation of the internet through a congressional review act (CRA) resolution is that this package of innovation-smothering red tape is ‘good’ for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The letter, which alerts Senators that SBE Council will KEY VOTE the CRA, outlined the inequities and harm of restoring massive regulation of the internet, as well as the disproportionate impact the regulatory framework imposes on small businesses and small internet service providers (ISPs):

“Overturning the Restoring Internet Freedom order will once again put small ISPs into a massive regulatory scheme that threatens their competitiveness and survival. For small ISPs, most of whom operate in more rural areas, the costs of these rules are real and substantial. Their customers will again be harmed as these small businesses will be forced to put off network investments and defer or stop the development of new features and services.  How is this good for rural Americans, economic development in these areas, or efforts to bring all of our citizens into the digital economy?”

In her letter, Kerrigan also pointed out the fact that data-rich, big-tech companies get a pass on privacy regulation and other rules, which is probably why many of these corporations have been the biggest agents of spreading falsehoods about the need for Title II regulation:

“Some of the big technology companies pushing the fallacy and need for Title II regulation are doing so because the resurrection of this misguided regulatory framework exempts the tech behemoths from privacy regulations and other rules being imposed on ISPs.  This is not fair, or smart.  A slew of costly and harmful rules and regulations would be imposed on ISPs – including the hundreds of smaller ISPs that provide internet and broadband access to rural and underserved areas of the country – while the biggest and most data-rich corporations escape any type of government oversight.”

Kerrigan is urging an alternative approach – legislation, rather than onerous regulation:

“SBE Council strongly supports an open internet, and believes the ideal way to achieve this is through common-sense legislation rather than harsh, inappropriate and inflexible regulation that undermines innovation, investment, small ISPs, competition, and access to broadband. Legislation will provide needed certainty, which will enable a continuous flow of investment and innovation that is the fuel for a dynamic internet ecosystem, and a dynamic economy.”

Related Content:

Small Business Week and The Digital Economy: Internet Freedom is Fundamental to Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth, April 2018.

Restoring Internet Freedom will Boost Small Business Access to Broadband, Next Gen Innovation, Media Release, December 2017.

Four Reasons Why Restoring Internet Freedom is Good for Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Small Business Insider, December 2017.

CONTACT:

Karen Kerrigan, kkerrigan@sbecouncil.org,

703-242-5840

SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For nearly 25 years SBE Council has worked to successfully implement a range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business growth. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: www.sbecouncil.org. Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil

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