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CenturyLink: FCC Rate Cuts Could Be Crippling

Multichannel News By John Eggerton

CenturyLink says the FCC’s new business data services (BDS) proposal could mean crippling rate cuts while ignoring evidence of competition.

The company accused the FCC of a flawed and dangerous approach that lacked transparency.

The FCC last Thursday (Oct. 27) scheduled a vote for the November 17 public meeting on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s BDS revamp.

investinbbandCenturyLink: FCC Rate Cuts Could Be Crippling
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CenturyLink Files Letter with FCC Detailing Dangers of Proposed BDS Order

Economic report and letter from CenturyLink locate flaws in FCC proposal

(WASHINGTON, DC) – In a scathing review of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) latest proposal for new regulation of business data services (BDS), communications provider CenturyLink says the proposal “suggests an intent to ignore” information in the record that demonstrates competition in the market.

In the new filing with the FCC, CenturyLink said the “record clearly establishes the presence of strong BDS competition” and the Commission “not only ignores this evidence, but declines to conduct any analysis of the BDS geographic market at all.”

Despite the FCC’s assurance to members of Congress in September that all available information – including unprecedented 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.

investinbbandCenturyLink Files Letter with FCC Detailing Dangers of Proposed BDS Order
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FCC Should Embrace Long-Settled Tenets of Competitive Analysis and Amend Fact Sheet Conclusions

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

CenturyLink, Inc. (“CenturyLink”) addresses herein statements made in the “Fact Sheet” released on October 7, describing Chairman Wheeler’s proposal for regulating the business data services (“BDS”) marketplace and various related claims in the associated record.

investinbbandFCC Should Embrace Long-Settled Tenets of Competitive Analysis and Amend Fact Sheet Conclusions
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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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CenturyLink’s Latest BDS Complaint: Unrealistic Pricing Deadlines

FierceTelecom By Sean Buckley

CenturyLink says that if the FCC’s proposed business data services (BDS) proposal goes into effect, it and other wireline telcos will need more time to realign back office operations to support the new changes.

At issue is a call made by CLECs urging the FCC to put its proposed new pricing structure into effect in January 2017.

That’s not enough time, the incumbent telco said. In order to prepare for this change, CenturyLink said it will have to “update and reconfigure systems used for pre-order, order, provisioning, billing, compliance and reporting” while existing tariffs would have to be modified and rewritten.

investinbbandCenturyLink’s Latest BDS Complaint: Unrealistic Pricing Deadlines
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