PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

FCC Ex Parte Filing on Open Internet and Broadband Investment, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly

By at 29 October, 2014, 12:31 pm

sbec

 

 

 

Marlene Dortch, Secretary

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C.  20554

Via ECFS

 

RE:     Notice of ex parte presentation

            Protecting and Promoting an Open Internet, GN Docket 14-28

            Access to Affordable Broadband and Competitive Choices

 

Dear Ms. Dortch:

On October 27, 2014, a delegation of small business members and entrepreneurs from the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) and the undersigned met with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and Legal Advisor Amy Bender to discuss the Open Internet proceedings and the importance of affordable broadband access and choice for small businesses, their customers/clients and individuals seeking the path of entrepreneurship.  Business owners Victoria Braden, Todd Flemming, Barbara Weltman and Brian Moran joined me for the meeting.

We outlined points consistent with SBE Council’s comments and filings in the Open Internet proceedings.  Namely, we expressed the importance of affordable access to broadband for entrepreneurs, and the need for Commission policies and initiatives that encourage investment to bring more choice and reliable service to small businesses throughout the country.  Each business owner at the meeting noted their own experiences representing a variety of sectors including health care, publishing, educational content, and security services for government and commercial clients. We noted that broadband access and access to reliable broadband was lacking in some areas where these business owners work, or in the areas where they serve or want to serve customers.

We expressed our concern about regulating the broadband Internet under Title II (reclassifying broadband as a public utility), and what this may mean for investment in broadband infrastructure and its impact on small businesses and entrepreneurs.  We expressed concern that reclassification could negatively impact small business access to broadband, impair innovation in new tools and services that benefit entrepreneurs, and how such regulation could drive costs higher.  We noted the high possibility of unintended consequences in applying Title II regulation to the broadband Internet.

We expressed our support for Commission actions and initiatives to encourage deployment and investment, which will expand access to high-speed broadband services for small businesses and drive innovation in new tools and services. For example, the group expressed support for the ATT-DIRECT TV transaction that will lead to wireline and wireless services for 15 million customers mostly in rural areas. Small businesses in these areas would have access to tools and services to help them compete, thrive and reach new markets.  The transaction would also bring more competition to markets where small business owners have little or no choice in meeting their broadband needs.

The Commission should act consistent with our presentation and filings in the Open Internet proceedings.

Respectfully Submitted,

kksignature - Best

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

cc: Amy Bender via email

 

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