Senator Markey Blasts Proposed Exemption Allowing Broadband Providers to Withhold Important Information from Subscribers

Exception would allow more broadband providers to withhold promotional rates, fee, surcharge, and data cap and allowance information to consumers

 

Washington (January 27, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D – Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today blasted an exemption circulated at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would allow broadband providers with 250,000 subscribers or fewer to withhold important pricing and performance information from consumers.  The Open Internet Order established enhanced transparency requirements that ensure broadband providers provide basic information to consumers, including promotion rates, fees and surcharges; data caps and allowances; and data on actual network performance and speeds.  Initially, the enhanced transparency rules did not apply to providers with 100,000 or fewer subscribers. But by extending the exemption to broadband providers with 250,000 or fewer subscribers, approximately 9.7 million total subscribers may not have access to this fundamental information.

"I believe that all consumers and all businesses, no matter where they reside, should have access to the most basic and fundamental information about the broadband service for which they pay,” said Senator Markey. “Regrettably, Chairman Pai has circulated an exemption that would allow some broadband providers to withhold basic information on services from millions of subscribers. It is unacceptable that small shops and stores will pay for broadband without knowing all the commercial terms of the service.  Rather than granting carve outs for the broadband industry, the FCC should be ensuring that all consumers have access to all the pricing and performance information they need to make informed decisions about their broadband service.”