What is this issue all about?

The coalition members want the FCC to take the necessary time and look at the correct data before it makes a major shift in how it regulates the business broadband market. The major cable providers (Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, and Cox) recently filed a corrected data set with the FCC that more accurately reflects the healthy competitive landscape in this market. This data proves the cable footprint is 22 times greater than what the FCC is currently using in its analysis.

A petition has been filed with the FCC requesting that this irretrievably flawed data be stricken before the FCC regulates. Further, we are asking that the FCC submit for peer review new research it has produced on competition in the business data services marketplace. Not only are the peer reviews the right thing to do, but it’s required under both the Administrative Procedure Act and the Data Quality Act, which govern rule-making procedures.

What’s at stake?

If infrastructure providers are forced to cut their rates at the behest of this misguided plan, they will be forced to cut hundreds of millions in future investment needed to build and upgrade network facilities, which would slow the deployment of broadband to areas that need it the most. The decrease in investment would also mean the loss of good jobs for American workers.

What would the proposed rule mean for expanded access to broadband?

It would severely curtail investment in business broadband, especially in the rural areas the FCC says it is committed to helping. Under the current regulatory regime, competitive facilities based providers are investing in business broadband at an unprecedented level. Cable’s capital investment in the last two years – 2014 and 2015 – was estimated at $6 billion and competitive fiber providers invested an estimated $9 billion during that same time. This means nearly $15 billion in competitive investment over two years. As a result of this increased investment, the Cable industry alone has seen business revenues increase from nearly $4 billion in 2009 to $14 billion in 2015. This level of investment would plummet if the FCC proceeds with its current proposed regulation.

What is Invest in Broadband for America?

Invest in Broadband for America is a coalition aimed at standing up for fair competition in the business broadband market. Our members, who collectively invest billions of dollars each year in broadband deployment across the nation, are urging the FCC to take the necessary time and look at the facts when considering possible business broadband regulation. The risks of getting it wrong – reduced investment, loss of jobs, slowed broadband deployment – are too high to ignore.

Who are the members of the Invest in Broadband for America coalition?

The founding members of the coalition are CenturyLink, Cincinnati Bell, Inc., Consolidated Communications, FairPoint Communications, and Frontier Communications.

Can members of the public do anything to prevent this rule from taking effect?

Concerned members of the public can contact to their representatives in Congress and urge them to tell the FCC commissioners not to pursue misguided and unnecessary regulation based on irretrievably flawed data.