Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Senators Ask FCC to Update Data in BDS Analysis

On Tuesday August 2, 2016, a group of nine U.S. Senators from rural states submitted a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asking him to use the most up-to-date data when analyzing competition in the business data services (BDS) market. The Senators stated: “As you work toward a final rule, it is especially important for rural states like ours that the Commission use all the available data, including the data submitted earlier this year by the major cable operators, to both measure competitive markets accurately and ensure that the regulations for noncompetitive markets are based on the real cost to provide service.” They added that regulations adopted through the use of outdated or inaccurate data will harm robust investments in BDS and “rural constituents will face significant challenges in accessing the 21st century global economy.”
In June 2016, I wrote a Perspectives from FSF Scholars entitled “The FCC Cannot Proceed in the BDS Proceeding with a Flawed Analysis,” where I raised concerns about the inaccuracy of the FCC’s BDS data collection and its poor analysis in which it estimates how competition among BDS providers impacts BDS prices but fails to acknowledge the impact that consumer demand has on BDS prices.
Additionally, FSF scholars submitted comments regarding the FCC’s BDS proposal and President Randolph May and Senior Fellow Seth Cooper co-authored a Perspectives from FSF Scholars entitled “The FCC’s Special Access Proposal Is Infected With Special Pleading,” where they discuss how the FCC’s proposal is essentially regulatory-capture by a few BDS competitors pleading to obtain special rent-seeking treatment.