The Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau (the “Bureau”) has released a Report and Order (“Order”) regarding the temporary exemption for small broadband Internet access service providers from the enhancements to the Open Internet transparency rule, as adopted in the 2015 Open Internet Order.  In this Order, the Bureau concludes that “at this time it cannot fully evaluate the impact of removing the temporary exemption” and therefore extends the temporary exemption for smaller providers until December 15, 2016.

This exemption covers providers with 100,000 or fewer broadband connections, as per their most recent Form 477, aggregated over all of the providers’ affiliates.  Providers that are obligated to file Form 477 that do not fulfill their obligation to timely file such information will be ineligible for the exemption, regardless of whether they meet the threshold.  Providers that are not required to file a Form 477 can avail themselves of the exemption by demonstrating that they served 100,000 or fewer broadband connections aggregated over all of the providers’ affiliates at the relevant time should any complaint arise.

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