Sprint Not Happy With Pai’s Plan to Partially Ease BDS Regs

Sprint is criticizing the FCC’s plan to partially ease regulation of Business Data Services next week. BDS involves network connections used by businesses to securely move large amounts of data like ATM withdrawals and credit card transactions, for example. Where competition exists, the agency will relax what it says are unneeded regulations and preserve those where competition is still lacking.

Sprint officials recently met with representatives of all three FCC commissioners, telling them there is inadequate competition for BDS. Further, the proposed order’s “reliance on the expectation that ubiquitous competition will one day develop, even for lower bandwidth and lower revenue services, is unwarranted,” says Sprint in a Commission filing describing the meetings.

The carrier emphasized the importance of adopting a suitable transition period to avoid the rate shock [to BDS providers] that would result from flash-cut deregulation, according to the carrier. 

Although AT&T representatives suggested language to clarify two portions of the proposal, the carrier generally supports it, according to a filing describing its meeting with FCC personnel.

INCOMPAS, the Internet and competitive networks association, represents internet, communications, streaming and technology companies. In a statement, association CEO Chip Pickering called it “a competition killer” that will increase the cost of deploying fiber and 5G infrastructure.

Part of the order to be voted on is a test to determine which counties will be deemed competitive and then deregulated. This part of the order has not yet been released and FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn called on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to either release it or delay the vote. Pickering, too asked the FCC to put off the vote until summer so the list can be publicly reviewed.

April 13, 2017

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