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FCC's Pai Praises Decision Not to Stay BDS Reform

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Tuesday praised a court decision not to block the FCC's decision to deregulate broadband business data services (BDS).

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a motion to stay that decision, said Pai.

“The court’s decision to let our modernization of our business data services rules take effect is an important—though unsurprising—affirmation that the Commission thoroughly analyzed our massive data collection to establish a robust, forward-looking competitive framework," he said. "These reforms will encourage vigorous investment in next-generation networks, which is critical if we are going to bridge the digital divide in our country.”

In a party line vote, the FCC on April 20 adopted a BDS Report and Order, under new chairman Pai, declaring the BDS market generally competitive—a distinct departure from the more regulatory proposal of Pai's predecessor, Tom Wheeler, who had concluded the market was insufficiently competitive—and deregulated the rates incumbent providers can charge for services like wireless backhaul, credit card readers, ATMs and institutional hookups to schools and libraries.

The FCC's Wireless Bureau last month denied a request by INCOMPAS and others to stay the decision.

“We applaud the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal decision to deny a motion to stay the effect of the FCC’s new BDS rules," said the Internet Innovation Alliance. "This action ensures that the agency’s rules that encourage greater investment and facilities-based competition among the networks serving American businesses will continue to move forward. Given that network infrastructure typically serves both businesses and consumers, all Americans stand to benefit from the advancement of policies that promote investment and deployment in high-speed 21st century broadband services and applications.”

John Eggerton
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.