CenturyLink is getting pretty darn snippy in its latest comments about the FCC’s proposal for business data services (BDS). The company released a statement on Monday saying the Commission’s proposal “suggests an intent to ignore” information in the record that demonstrates competition in the market. CenturyLink’s filing with the FCC also says the “record clearly establishes the presence of strong BDS competition” and the FCC “not only ignores this evidence, but declines to conduct any analysis of the BDS geographic market at all.”
The company charges that despite the note the FCC provided to members of Congress in September stating all available information — including market tests performed over several years and with the use of significant resources — would be considered, the proposal reflects the Commission’s “intent to ignore the information on the record of competition in the marketplace.” In the proposal, CenturyLink notes the Commission suggests enforcing a one-time rate reduction of 11 percent on broadband providers, phased in over three years.
“However, the proposal lacks transparency, as the announcement of the 11 percent rate reduction is a significant understatement to the additional rate reductions that will also be imposed by additional, undisclosed measures in the proposal,” CenturyLink says in a press release.
CenturyLink further charges that the FCC did not reveal that providers in many cases will be subjected to an additional preliminary rate reduction, before then complying with the 11 percent reduction initially discussed. “Data shows that in some cases, the combination of these two rate reductions on top of one another can get as high as 19 percent in lost revenue for providers, taking away from revenue that would otherwise go towards future broadband investment and the creation of jobs,” the company says.
The rate cut could “cripple many providers’ ability to continue providing quality service, much less have money left to invest in broadband innovation for the future,” CenturyLink states.
John Jones, SVP, public policy and government relations at CenturyLink, says: “The Commission’s lack of transparency in what they’re trying to accomplish places an enormous and unnecessary burden on the communication process, and the trust between all parties involved in this proposal.”
Mark Schankerman, Ph.D., of the London School of Economics, and Pierre Regibeau, Ph.D., an economist specializing in matters of industrial organization and law, published a report analyzing the FCC’s proposed rate reductions. They say that the data used in their proposal “reflect[s] fundamentally arbitrary allocations of joint costs that have no justification from an economic perspective.”
You can see CenturyLink’s letter, along with the aforementioned report here.
Filed Under: Industry regulations