June 11, 2004 -- The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy is making sure the Federal Communications Commission remembers the little guy, even when it's duking it out with the telecommunications industry.

As part of a settlement between the two agencies on a case involving the new phone number portability rules, the FCC has agreed to work with the SBA to more fully consider the impact its regulations have on small businesses.

The Office of Advocacy agreed not to file a brief in the United States Telecom Association, et al., v. FCC, et al. case., in which the USTA is trying to halt the number portability rules. The brief would have entered the SBA into the case as a third party with a direct interest in the outcome.

Small business plaintiffs in the case contend that the FCC did not consider either the impact the new rules would have on small businesses or any alternatives that would reduce the burden on them, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

The withdraw of the brief also came under the condition that the FCC would urge state regulators to consider the concerns of small rural telecom providers seeking waivers to the new number portability rules.