Skip to main content

Clyburn Calls for Release of BDS Competitive Counties List

Democratic FCCCommissioner Mignon Clyburnhas called on FCC Chairman Ajit Paito release the list of the counties the FCC is going to deem have competition for business broadband services and thus qualify for deregulation of ILEC rates.

Pai plans a vote at the April meeting on his deregulation proposal for those competitive business data services counties. Assessed services include ATMs, credit card readers and institutional hookups provided by incumbent telcos and competitors. 

Pai has released the text of the BDS reform, but was asked by some groups last week to also publish the list of counties ripe for deregulation.

Clyburn joined in that call Monday.

Related: FCC's Pai Pulls Plug on Plane Phone-Use Item

“Chairman Pai has been a champion of transparency," Clyburn said. "It is puzzling, then, why he will release the text of the item, but omit a key appendix listing which counties are deemed competitive, until the Order is released. We have the information. It will become public when the Order is released. So why is it that the FCC has taken the position that it will vote on an Order before the public gets to see exactly what the Order does? Just what are we trying to hide?

“The FCC should release this list immediately. This is the only way the public can truly evaluate the practical effects of the FCC’s proposed actions. If for some reason, that is unknown to me at this time, we cannot release this list expeditiously, we should delay our vote on the proposed Order until the public can see it ‘well in advance’ of a FCC vote.”

ormer FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler put forward his own BDS proposal, which was ultimately supported by Clyburn, but fell apart following an effort at a compromise with Pai. Pai’s approach to business data services reform is to generally deregulate the rates of incumbents on the argument that the marketplace is generally competitive and only regulate where there is a demonstrated lack of competition.

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.