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Black Caucus Has Business Data Services Issues

More than a dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus have called on the FCC to use "all available data to recognize and support competition where it has developed, especially as additional providers have entered the market in recent years."

That came in a letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler on his proposed revamp of business data services (BDS), the commercial broadband services in which the FCC will regulate new entrants and incumbents alike wherever the FCC decides there is insufficient competition.

The members are concerned that the FCC may not be considering all of the data.

The letter praises Wheeler for his efforts to improve broadband access, something he has said his proposal will do. But they also urge the FCC to use "all available industry data" to support competition where it has already developed, particularly where new competitors have entered the market, and to take into account the real cost of providing service to rural markets.

BDS providers, including new entrants like cable ISPs, have been critical of the FCC proposal as not sufficiently taking those into account, and discouraging new entrants with potential new rate regs after encouraging them to expend the capital to enter new markets.

The letter comes as Wheeler is expected to announce a vote on his BDS reforms at the Oct. 27 public meeting.

Signing on to the letter were G.K Butterfield (D-N.C.), Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.), Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Alma S. Adams (D-N.C.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Sanford D. Bishop (D-Ga.), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.), Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.), Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), and Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.).