Excerpt from a letter sent by Dr. Charles Steele, Jr, President/CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler:
On behalf of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we urge the Commission to consider the unintended consequences of any final rulemaking affecting the “Business Data Services” (BDS) market. We respectfully request the Commission consider its impact on American workers and small business, from whom the lifeblood of our economy flows. As we prepare to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s Poor Peoples’ Campaign, we are working tirelessly to make sure our voices are heard on any issue that affects the ability of Americans to participate in this economy and pull themselves out of poverty.
We have been made aware of the very serious concerns other groups have about the potential for negative consequences from this rule. And, While we understand the Commission’s need and desire to improve and modernize the current BDS rate structure, we urge you to consider the impact on “competition” in the marketplace. It is our understanding that one of the unintended consequences of any decision may be a “race to the bottom” for wages and workers rights that could harm underserved communities. Competition should foster service and innovation, and not result in lower wages and living standards for workers.
It is rare for us to intervene in matters like these, but we feel the potential long term effects could be detrimental and hard to reverse.