A group of five Democratic senators sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying that the regulator’s proposed business data services (BDS) re-regulation could stop emerging competitors from extending broadband networks to rural markets in states where competition is limited.
The latest warnings come in three new filings with the FCC: One from six U.S. Senators, another from the Governor of Delaware and the last from two U.S. congressmen.
Five senators, including Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), signed onto the letter.
In the joint letter, the five senators said that “the policies adopted in the rulemaking must take great care in how it may affect rural areas to make sure it does not deter investments” in broadband infrastructure, particularly in rural areas.
Likewise, Reps. Gene Green (D-Texas) and Bill Flores (R-Texas) said they were concerned that the proposal will delay investment and harm services that rely on the critical infrastructure.
Green and Flores said that the “failure to recognize the extent of competition will likely result in regulations that will deter incumbent, recent, and future providers from investing in BDS, harming providers and consumers alike.”