Telco Coalition Forms To Oppose FCC Business Broadband Proposal

CenturyLink and Frontier have teamed up with a handful of other telcos in a new coalition to push back on the FCC's proposed reforms of special access market.

That is the business services market the FCC has rebranded BDS or business data services).

Also in the coalition are Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, and FairPoint.

Special-access lines are dedicated connections used by businesses and institutions to deliver voice and data traffic, including for ATMs and credit card transactions. They also include wireless backhaul services, so the move also ties to the FCC's promotion of wireless broadband.

The coalition, dubbed "Invest in Broadband for America," called the FCC proposal sweeping and questionable--it is also being questioned by cable operators providing BDS competition.

They are the same companies that joined with AT&T to challenge the FCC proposal, saying it was based on flawed data provided by cable operators (part of an FCC data request on the state of the marketplace, which it used to buttress its case for expanding regulation of the marketplace where "necessary" to promote competition).

“First and foremost, it is crucial that the FCC get the data right on competition in the marketplace before flying blindly into a major policy decision,” said John Jones, CenturyLink SVP, in announcing the new effort. “Important decisions are best made with accurate data.  What is at stake here is the definition of ‘competition.’  That definition will have a substantial impact on the telecom and national economy for years to come.  Think investment, suppliers, employees, infrastructure and contractors.” 

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.