FCC Admonishes and Cites ISPs for Failure to Comply with the Transparency Rule

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The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau (EB) has issued sixteen Admonishment Orders and eight Citation and Orders (collectively, “Orders”) to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for failure to comply with the Transparency Rule. Pursuant to FCC Rule Section 8.1, providers of broadband Internet access services are required to publicly disclose accurate information regarding their network management practices and performance, and the commercial terms of the services they provide via a publicly available, easily accessible website or by transmittal to the FCC for posting on the FCC’s website. The EB’s Orders direct the ISPs to comply with the rule within thirty days, or face forfeiture. In late 2018, FCC staff conducted online searches to verify whether ISPs were providing the required transparency disclosures, and issued letters reminding and warning entities that the failure to comply could result in referral to the EB. The subject Orders were issued to entities who apparently ignored the FCC’s letters and failed to take any steps to rectify the violation by posting the required transparency disclosures. ISPs are now clearly on notice that failure to comply with the Transparency Rule could result in substantial forfeiture.

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