CenturyLink, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, FairPoint Communications, and Frontier Communications announced they’re combining efforts under the “Invest in Broadband for America” coalition, by together charging that the FCC’s recent proposal is “sweeping and questionable” regarding special access market and incumbent providers.
Last month, AT&T filed a motion to strike what it called the “irretrievably flawed” data framework underlying the FCC’s recent business broadband services proposal. According to that motion, “the record shows that several major cable providers did not clearly or fully report that they were able to provide at least 22 times more business data services using metro Ethernet than were reflected by the original data in 2013,” as reported in a press release from the coalition.
“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,” John Jones, CenturyLink SVP, policy and government relations, says. “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.”
According to Kathleen Quinn Abernathy, Frontier SVP external affairs: “It appears much of the FCC’s plan for new regulation of broadband services is for the purpose of subsidizing undefined 5G technology for the wireless industry. This is the same wireless industry that increasingly relies on our robust fiber build-out to move data traffic from smartphones to the public network and has as much as 10 times the earnings of the wireline industry. Without investment into the backhaul infrastructure by the wireline industry, the future of 5G technology could be rendered useless.”
The coalition partners used a statement to say they are particularly concerned about the potential of unintended consequences for rural and other underserved communities if the FCC’s proposal is passed.
“The underserved rural markets are already trailing large urban areas in investment and higher speeds. This order does nothing to further additional investment, much less competition, in those markets. Under the FCC’s proposal, productivity factors and picking winners and losers with questionable data would make rural markets poor candidates for investments that would enable 5G technology,” Michael T. Skrivan, FairPoint VP, regulatory, notes. “We are concerned the FCC’s rush to regulate would harm the country’s most vulnerable consumers.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations