Posted by: Joan Marsh on November 11, 2016 at 11:02 am
Yesterday, Chairman Walden cautioned the FCC that instituting new regulations at this time is unnecessary, unwanted and unfair. Yet next week, the FCC plans to vote on the sweeping nationwide re-regulation of TDM-based transport and access services. The FCC’s proposal, as outlined in the Business Data Services (BDS) Fact Sheet released some weeks ago, picks regulatory winners and losers without regard to the significant factual and economic evidence presented in the docket. Here’s our take on where that scoreboard currently stands.
Loser: The Facts
The facts about the state of competition in the BDS market were invited to the party via the FCC’s data collection, but were then told to go stand in the corner and not talk to anyone. The fundamental promise of this proceeding was that the FCC would actually measure competition and regulate only where it did not exist. That promise was badly broken with the proposal to declare all legacy TDM access and transport facilities below 50 Mbps non-competitive.
If the facts were allowed to talk, they would tell you that ninety percent of AT&T’s sub-50 Mbps bandwidth is within a half mile of competitive fiber and fifty-five percent of CenturyLink’s low capacity bandwidth is in buildings that have two or more competitors within 1,000 feet. In major urban markets, there are often more than a dozen fiber transport providers – in some of them two dozen. Indeed, that the transport market is in fact robustly competitive was not disputed on this record and yet the FCC proposes to pull transport facilities fully into the new regulatory regime.
In short, the facts demonstrated that CLEC and cable facilities compete against low capacity BDS demand in the majority of markets. But the facts have been dismissed and none of that was taken into consideration.