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Small Business Administration's Advocacy Office Seeks BDS Vote Delay

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy has asked the FCC to delay a vote on FCC chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to deregulate broadband business data services (BDS).

As of presstime, the vote was still on the agenda for the April 20 meeting. An FCC spokesperson was not available to comment on the letter.

In a letter to the FCC dated April 13, and following an April 12 meeting between advocacy office officials and various FCC staffers, advocacy office acting chief counsel Major Clark said that it had concerns with the proposal.

The office has advocated in the past for BDS price regs where needed to insure competition (and advocate for the small businesses who have to compete with the potentially deregulated former Bells).

Given those concerns that small businesses "be able to keep the same level of service at the same or lower prices" and given that the office says the FCC's competitive market test for where it can deregulate rates is "problematic" for those small businesses, "we respectfully request that the commission delay voting on the draft final order so that stakeholders can have additional time to realize and resolve their concerns with the commission."

It also said that if and when the FCC does vote out a final order, it provide for an "adjustment period."

SBA's advocacy office is an independent office within the government lobbying for the interests of small businesses before agencies like the FCC as well as Congress, the White House, the courts and state and local governments.