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Delaware Governor: FCC's BDS Revamp Requires Accurate Data

Delaware's Democratic governor Jack Markell has urged the FCC to make sure it is basing its business data services (BDS) regulatory approach on the best data available to "ensure that private investment in broadband infrastructure remains strong."

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler—as part of his modified BDS regulatory revamp order circulated to the other commissioners for a vote last week—also is having them vote on a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking input on how best to collect accurate data from the marketplace and how to deal with pricing concerns that data might uncover.

The chairman has modified his initial proposal to make potential new rate regs on competitors with incumbent providers a complaint-driven process but is leaving its options open after studying the market further.

In a letter to Wheeler, the governor said it was important to get "accurate and comprehensive data."

"The goal of limiting monopolistic practices is an important one, but it must be coupled with a smart strategy to properly identify when such conditions exist, and to encourage significant levels of additional investment in broadband technologies," said the governor. "To fail to do so risks a solution that is counterproductive to our shared mission of increased broadband access for our citizens."

The governor did not explicitly suggest the FCC was not using good data but urged it to make sure it was basing its decisions on accurate information.

Critics of the chairman's proposal, both the original and as modified last week, have challenged the accuracy of the data the FCC collected over the past several years and used in deciding on the revamp.