Broadband Coalition Hails BDS Revamp No-Vote

Some telecom providers are asking the Trump Administration to pivot from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal on re-regulating incumbent and competitive business data service (BDS) providers.

BDS (formerly “special access”) is business, rather than customer-facing, broadband data services and includes credit card readers, ATMs and wireless backhaul.

Wheeler pulled a vote on that proposal from the Nov. 17 meeting and is not expected to get traction anytime soon, but the Invest in Broadband for America coalition—CenturyLink, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, FairPoint and Frontier Communications—wasn't taking any chances. 

“The FCC did the right thing by not pushing this proposal through before the next administration takes office,” said Kathleen Abernathy, executive VP of external affairs for Frontier Communications and herself a former FCC commissioner. “Any proposed increased regulation of the competitive BDS market could have huge impacts on broadband investment and, as a result, on economic growth and jobs all across the country.”

As to that next administration: "Based on President-elect Trump’s statements during the 2016 campaign, it’s clear that creating jobs for American workers will be a priority. Given his emphasis on jobs, the new administration should consider preserving businesses’ ability to invest in broadband in all parts of the U.S.—especially in rural areas—as an effective strategy to not only ensure that existing jobs are safe, but to help to create new ones."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.