Excerpt from a letter sent by Representative Fred Upton, U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman, and Greg Walden, Communications & Technology Subcommittee Chairman, to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler:
We are writing to express our concern about Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decisions during the presidential transition.
The most important challenge for the Commission over the next ten weeks is to ensure a successful broadcast incentive auction. The successful completion of the auction will provide needed spectrum to meet Americans wireless broadband needs and ensure that Americans continue to enjoy the local news and national programming broadcasters provide. As Rep. Henry Waxman and Senator Jay Rockefeller noted during the 2008 Presidential transition, it would be counterproductive for the FCC to consider complex and controversial items that the new Congress and new Administration will have an interest in reviewing.
investinbbandU.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee Letter to FCC
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
Excerpt from a letter sent by USTelecom to FCC Secretary Marlene Dortch:
The Commission should reject demands to force a mandatory “wholesale” discount structure on the business data services (“BDS”) marketplace. Under the volume and term-based discount structure that has evolved under Commission supervision, competing carriers already had 51% of the market in 2013. Grafting a new “wholesale” discount on to the current structure does not reflect how BDS is sold and provisioned and would be counter to the Commission’s longstanding goals of facilities-based competition. As Chairman Wheeler recently noted, “if you’re going to get competition, competition is a facilities-based issue, it is not an ersatz unbundling issue.” Similarly, the May Further Notice in this proceeding concludes “we do not consider competition over resold lines as a material competitive restraint.” At the end of the day, making resale artificially more attractive by mandating a special discount (“ersatz unbundling”) for a favored class of resellers will result in more resale and less investment in the real facilities-based competition that matters.
investinbbandThe Commission Should Reject Requests to Impose a Special “Wholesale” Discount on the BDS Industry
Excerpt from a letter sent by Governor Tom Wolf (PA) to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler:
I write to you today concerning the Commission’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (CFNPR) regarding business data services (BDS). These services allow retailers, banks, schools, hospitals and small businesses to transmit large amounts of data quickly, enabling the flow of commerce and enhancing the connectivity we all increasingly rely on.
Business data services also provides the physical link between the nation’s wired communications infrastructure and the wireless network. Given the importance of this connection to the development and expansion of broadband networks, particularly in rural areas, it is important that the new framework which the Commission establishes for compensation for these services not inhibit continued investment in infrastructure.
investinbbandPennsylvania Governor Asks FCC to Evaluate All Available BDS Data
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