Five Senate Democrats voiced concern that FCC business data service proposals “could have an outsized negative impact” on rural telecom providers in their states. The Commission “must take care in how it may affect rural areas to make sure it does not deter investments or hinder serviceability,” said the letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler from Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
investinbbandSenate Democrats Warn FCC Its BDS Actions Could Harm Rural Telecom Providers
Five Democratic senators sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, pushing back against the FCC’s proposal to regulate the $40 billion market for the bulk data connections powering ATMs, retail transactions and cell phone towers.
The senators worried that the new rules would hinder investment and serviceability of broadband infrastructure in rural areas, a complaint also lobbed by AT&T Inc., a critic of the rule.
investinbbandDemocratic Senators Push Back on FCC Bulk Data Proposal
A group of five Democratic senators sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying that the regulator’s proposed business data services (BDS) re-regulation could stop emerging competitors from extending broadband networks to rural markets in states where competition is limited.
The latest warnings come in three new filings with the FCC: One from six U.S. Senators, another from the Governor of Delaware and the last from two U.S. congressmen.
Five senators, including Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), signed onto the letter.
investinbbandFive Democratic Senators Say FCC’s BDS Proposal Could Hamper Emerging Competitors
Current proposal risks the expansion of high-speed broadband networks
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Democratic officials from across the country are cautioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that a failure to recognize markets where new competitors have begun offering business data services (BDS) risks the expansion of high-speed broadband networks, particularly in rural markets.
Similarly, FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler’s recently circulated proposal to regulate BDS has been criticized by business broadband providers for ignoring facts entered into the record that demonstrate significant competition in individual markets, despite the statements Wheeler made in testimony before Congress to take all available data on competition into consideration.
investinbbandDemocrats Press the FCC to Recognize New Competitors in BDS Rulemaking
A group of Democratic senators have told the FCC that Chairman Tom Wheeler’s business data services (BDS) proposal could have an “outsized” negative impact on rural telecoms, including small towns and small businesses in their states.
In a letter to the chairman after he circulated his new proposal last week, the senators said that they wanted to make sure that any effort to regulate non-competitive markets (as determined by the FCC), should take into account the “real cost” and “unique challenges” of providing service to rural and small towns.
investinbbandDemocratic Senators, Reps. Warn of BDS Proposal Impact