Comment Sought on Appropriate Market Analysis for CenturyLink Enterprise Broadband Forbearance Petition

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In December 2013, CenturyLink filed a petition requesting that the FCC forbear from dominant carrier regulation and the Computer Inquiry tariffing requirement with respect to all of its packet-switched and optical transmission services (enterprise broadband services) that are still subject to those obligations.  According to CenturyLink, any of its enterprise broadband services may be subject to nondominant regulation, pricing flexibility or full price cap regulation, depending on which CenturyLink affiliate – legacy Qwest, Embarq or CenturyTel – provides the service, and the varying regulation has a significant, negative impact on its enterprise broadband customers.  The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) is seeking comment on the best method for evaluating CenturyLink’s forbearance petition.  Specifically it seeks comment on how it should define the relevant market or markets at issue and analyze the level of competition within those markets.  The Bureau proposes that its market analysis account for potential differences in competition for enterprise broadband services among various customer classes (e.g., small and medium businesses, as opposed to large enterprise customers; customers with localized or low-volume needs versus those with needs for nationwide contracts).  Comments are due on or before July 7, 2014, and reply comments are due July 14, 2014.

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