Media Coverage

Broadband Coalition Hails BDS Revamp No-Vote

Broadcasting & Cable By John Eggerton

Some telecom providers are asking the Trump Administration to pivot from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal on re-regulating incumbent and competitive business data service (BDS) providers.

BDS (formerly “special access”) is business, rather than customer-facing, broadband data services and includes credit card readers, ATMs and wireless backhaul.

Wheeler pulled a vote on that proposal from the Nov. 17 meeting and is not expected to get traction anytime soon, but the Invest in Broadband for America coalition – CenturyLink, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, FairPoint and Frontier Communications – wasn’t taking any chances.

investinbbandBroadband Coalition Hails BDS Revamp No-Vote
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FCC’s Wheeler Gets Pushback on Continued Agenda Push

Broadcasting & Cable By John Eggerton

As the FCC prepares to vote on its business data services (BDS) revamp proposal, which has drawn pushback from Hill Republicans as well as cable ISPs, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is getting some pushback himself for not ramping down his regulatory agenda in the face of the recent election.

The chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee, Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who could be the chairman of the full committee after new assignments are voted on in the next couple of weeks, told Politico that the FCC needs to cool its jets. “The notion of instituting new rules and regulations, cramming stuff out the door, is unnecessary, unwanted and unfair – and needs to cease and desist,” Walden told the Hill news outlet.

investinbbandFCC’s Wheeler Gets Pushback on Continued Agenda Push
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FCC’s Number One Priority Should Be Facilitating Transition

Forbes By Fred Campbell

President Obama has chosen the high road as he prepares for his departure from office. After meeting with president-elect Donald Trump, Obama said his “number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful,” noting that if Trump succeeds the U.S. will succeed. If only the outgoing chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, were so noble.

Rather than focus on a smooth transition, Wheeler intends to keep pushing his partisan agenda to futility and beyond. Two days after the election, Wheeler gave notice that later this week the FCC will vote on his controversial plan to impose heavy-handed price regulations on highly-competitive business data services. Neither of the Republican commissioners have supported this idea and there is no reason to believe they’ll vote in favor of it now.

investinbbandFCC’s Number One Priority Should Be Facilitating Transition
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Sen. Thune Asks FCC’s Wheeler to Avoid Controversial Votes

Multichannel News By John Eggerton

There is a new sheriff in town, or will be soon, and Hill Republicans are echoing their Democratic counterparts from eight years ago that the FCC should not vote any controversial items between now and Inauguration Day (Jan. 20), when Republican Donald Trump takes the oath of office.

The FCC has now heard from both sides of the Hill, at least Republicans on both sides, that it should focus on wrapping up current project, with consensus support, rather than vote any new controversial regulatory proposals – among the most prominent of the latter are business data services (BDS) revamps–scheduled for a vote Nov. 17–and a set-top box “unlocking” proposal that is currently on circulation but has shown no signs of being voted as yet.

investinbbandSen. Thune Asks FCC’s Wheeler to Avoid Controversial Votes
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FCC’s Proposed BDS Order Could Be Dangerous to Broadband Innovation, CenturyLink Charges

CED By Laura Hamilton

CenturyLink is getting pretty darn snippy in its latest comments about the FCC’s proposal for business data services (BDS). The company released a statement on Monday saying the Commission’s proposal “suggests an intent to ignore” information in the record that demonstrates competition in the market. CenturyLink’s filing with the FCC also says the “record clearly establishes the presence of strong BDS competition” and the FCC “not only ignores this evidence, but declines to conduct any analysis of the BDS geographic market at all.”

The company charges that despite the note the FCC provided to members of Congress in September stating all available information — including market tests performed over several years and with the use of significant resources — would be considered, the proposal reflects the Commission’s “intent to ignore the information on the record of competition in the marketplace.” In the proposal, CenturyLink notes the Commission suggests enforcing a one-time rate reduction of 11 percent on broadband providers, phased in over three years.

investinbbandFCC’s Proposed BDS Order Could Be Dangerous to Broadband Innovation, CenturyLink Charges
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