CAGW Applauds FCC's Proposal to Increase Competition for Business Data Services

For Immediate Release Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318
March 31, 2017  

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) praised the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for considering a Report and Order that would enhance competition for Business Data Services (BDS) at its April 20, 2017 meeting.  The agenda also includes broadband connectivity, wireless infrastructure, the UHF discount, and other topics.  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s new open and transparent leadership at the agency is a welcome departure from his predecessor, Tom Wheeler, as is his pro-taxpayer and pro-competitive approach to telecommunications policy.

Business Data Services provide secure, reliable, dedicated point-to-point transmission of large amounts of data at certain guaranteed speeds over the internet, through the cloud, or on private networks.  Although most of these services are being provided by modern technology, the FCC had been using price regulations for incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs).

The BDS Report and Order being considered at the April 20, 2017 meeting presents a stark contrast to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted on a party-line 3-2 vote by the FCC on April 28, 2016.  While that rulemaking was abandoned following the November 2016 elections, it would have allowed the FCC to re-regulate ILEC services and created new regulations for every other BDS, including those that had not previously been regulated, all in a marketplace that is demonstrably and vibrantly competitive.

In his March 30, 2017, Medium commentary, Chairman Pai wrote that the new proposal takes a “balanced approach” to both “relax unnecessary regulation” and “preserve regulations necessary to prevent anti-competitive price increases” where competition is lacking.  He cited an “extensive record” of “substantial and growing competition in many areas of the country, thanks to new market entrants like cable companies.”

CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Under the heavy regulatory hand of Tom Wheeler, the FCC was subjecting the telecommunications industry to increasingly burdensome regulations, including an absurdly complex rate system for Business Data Services.  It is refreshing to see the FCC and Chairman Pai take steps to open up greater opportunities for companies to enter into the marketplace with certainty, including Business Data Services, as well as enable them to build 5G wireless networks and the next generation of technology.”

CAGW is the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. 

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