The Competitive Carriers Association says there’s plenty reason to justify repealing the FCC’s 2016 Privacy Order which it calls “burdensome and anti-competitive.” CCA suggests the FCC align its rules with those of the Federal Trade Commission.
In reply comments just filed with the Commission, the association says: “Reconsidering the 2016 Privacy Order will ensure consumers can expect uniform privacy practices, and will prevent edge providers from securing an undue competitive advantage over broadband providers in the internet ecosystem. Further, reconsideration is particularly needed for CCA members since the 2016 Privacy Order is uniquely burdensome for small BIAS [Broadband Internet Service Providers] providers.”
Small providers were largely ignored in the rulemaking process and then given limited relief “and defined too narrowly as providers serving 100,000 or fewer connections,” according to CCA.
Several consumer groups oppose the repeal, saying without it, ISPs won’t guard customer’s data privacy and will actually sell it and profit from it. Those arguments “deny the reality of the broadband marketplace and either minimize or ignore the FCC’s continued authority to regulate privacy activities,” says CCA.
“The 2016 Privacy Order is particularly burdensome for CCA members, many of whom are small BIAS providers, and imposes resource-intensive requirements on these companies with already limited resources as compared to many larger carriers,” said CCA President/CEO Steven Berry in a statement. “Competitive carriers should be focusing their resources on serving their customers and expanding and building their networks rather than complying with unnecessary obligations. Protecting their consumers’ privacy is at the core of competitive carriers’ customer service. That will continue to be the case with or without the FCC’s rules.”
One of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s first actions in his new role was to expand an exemption from enhanced transparency rules for small ISPs from systems with 100,000 or fewer subs to those with 250,000 or fewer subs, Inside Towers reported. Republicans in Congress and Pai would like to roll back the rules entirely or relax them.
March 20, 2017