Letters of Support

AT&T: FCC Proposal Is “Startlingly Overbroad as It Relates to Legacy TDM Services”

Excerpt from a letter sent by AT&T Inc. to FCC Secretary Marlene Dortch:

Chairman Wheeler recently published a “Fact Sheet” that outlines his proposed order in this proceeding. Although the proposal recognizes that “lighter-touch regulation” is more appropriate for Ethernet services, “where there has been new entry and competition may be emerging,” the proposal is startlingly overbroad as it relates to legacy TDM services.

First, the Fact Sheet effectively ignores Commission’s unprecedented data collection and proposes Phase I regulation – i.e., price caps – for all ILEC DS 1 and DS3 services nationwide. Nationwide price cap regulation for DSn services goes far beyond what the record evidence can support and could not be sustained on review. Most notably, the proposal would result in the sudden re-imposition of price caps on dedicated transport services in the dense business districts of the largest cities in the country, like Chicago and New York, where the data collection shows that typically more than twenty CLECs have deployed their own facilities-based interoffice transport networks. There is no conceivable economic or public policy basis for ex ante rate regulation of services offered by dozens of facilities-based competitors. Indeed, the facts confirming ubiquitous transport competition are so clear that the CLECs have not even tried to make a case that transport is not competitive, and sweeping nationwide re-regulation of such services after a decade and a half of deregulation would be a recipe for swift reversal. But the Fact Sheet’s implicit contention that there is no effective competition anywhere in the country for channel terminations is just as misguided. As shown below, the data collection and the CLECs’ own advocacy strongly refutes any such notion.

investinbbandAT&T: FCC Proposal Is “Startlingly Overbroad as It Relates to Legacy TDM Services”
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CWA Delivers 7,100 Petitions to the FCC on Business Data Services Proposal

The Communications Workers of America delivered 7,184 petitions to the Federal Communications Commission today, from union and digital activists nationwide, calling on the Commission to give careful review to proposals to regulate business data services, keeping the priorities of broadband buildout and job creation front and center.

investinbbandCWA Delivers 7,100 Petitions to the FCC on Business Data Services Proposal
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Comcast Warns FCC Ruling Would Cause Collateral Damage in the Broader Market for Low-Bandwidth BDS

Excerpt from a letter sent by Comcast Corporation to FCC Secretary Marlene Dortch:

…During these discussions, we emphasized that (1) the current record cannot support a finding that all business data services (“BDS”) are offered on a common carrier basis; (2) the Chairman’s October 7 Fact Sheet correctly recognizes that it is unnecessary and would be both contrary to the record and counterproductive to subject the robustly competitive Ethernet segment to ex ante rate regulation; and (3) evidence of an increasingly competitive BDS marketplace also warrants treading lightly in applying rate regulation to legacy TDM services offered by incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”). In addition, on October 18, 2016, the undersigned spoke by telephone with Mr. Litman, and on the same day, Kathryn Zachem of Comcast spoke by telephone with Matthew DelNero, Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, and Stephanie Weiner, Associate General Counsel and Special Advisor to Chairman Wheeler, regarding the same matters.

investinbbandComcast Warns FCC Ruling Would Cause Collateral Damage in the Broader Market for Low-Bandwidth BDS
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Cox Expressing Concerns of FCC Decision to Impose New Regulation without Accessing Data

Excerpt from a letter sent by Cox Communications, Inc. to FCC Secretary Marlene Dortch:

…At this meeting, we discussed Chairman Wheeler’s proposed BDS rules as outlined in the Fact Sheet released on October 7, 2016. We stated that the Chairman’s decision to exclude cable companies and Ethernet services from ex ante rate regulation was consistent with the strong record of competition for these services. Although we also concurred in the decision to focus regulatory efforts on incumbent LEC TDM-based BDS, we expressed concern over the decision to impose new regulation on those services on a nationwide basis without any assessment of whether there was sufficient competition in any area to constrain ILEC pricing.

investinbbandCox Expressing Concerns of FCC Decision to Impose New Regulation without Accessing Data
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It’s Important That the FCC Not Undercut the Incentives to Allow for Rural Broadband Access

Excerpt from a letter sent by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Senator Jeffrey Merkley (OR), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI), and Senator Mazie Hirono (HI) to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler:

As senators representing states with many small towns and small businesses, we appreciate the Federal Communication Commission’s continued effort in promoting broadband infrastructure to every community, rural and urban. We are concerned, however, that the Commission’s proposed rulemaking on business data services (BDS) could have an outsized negative impact on rural telecommunications providers in our states.

investinbbandIt’s Important That the FCC Not Undercut the Incentives to Allow for Rural Broadband Access
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