Dozens of Rate-of-Return Carriers Offering BDS Elect to Switch to Incentive Based Regulation

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The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has released a Public Notice announcing that 37 rate-of-return carriers serving 88 study areas in 29 states have notified the Bureau that beginning July 1, 2019, they will elect incentive regulation for their lower speed business data services (BDS) Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) transport and end-user channel termination services pursuant to the Commission’s 2018 BDS Order.  The 2018 BDS Order established a path for rate-of-return carriers that receive model-based or other forms of fixed high-cost universal service support to voluntarily elect to transition their BDS offerings to incentive regulation. Electing carriers currently in the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) pool were required to notify NECA of their decision to switch from the traffic-sensitive NECA Pool by March 1, 2019 and notify the Bureau by May 1, 2019.  An appendix listing the carriers and markets is attached to the Public Notice.

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