The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today approved a bill to exempt small business owners from the provisions of net neutrality regulations. The Small Business Broadband Deployment Act of 2015 provides “relief from regulatory burdens disproportionately affecting small internet providers.”  

Under this bill, providers with 250,000 or less subscribers do not have to adhere to the transparency rules which are a major part of the regulations.

The bill is a version of one which passed the house unanimously in March, and broadens the exemption of smaller internet service providers from FCC’s neutrality regulations passed this week.

“This legislation creates a needless loophole in the Open Internet Order,” said Joshua Stager, policy counsel for New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI).

“To weaken that order just one day after it was upheld by a federal court is an affront to the millions of Americans who asked for these rules. The transparency rules help ensure a level playing field for small businesses to compete in the online marketplace—which is why so many small businesses asked the FCC to create these rules in the first place,” he added.

“The administration does not oppose this exemption, the Small Business Administration supports this exemption, and most importantly, the small businesses that we represent support this exemption so they can focus on their businesses, their customers, rather than burdensome regulatory requirements,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who co-sponsored the bill.