FCC Seeks New Framework for Business Data Services

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The FCC has commenced a proceeding to establish a new framework for business data services (special access) following its review of the special access tariffs of AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier. That review found that the special access tariffs of those carriers imposed unjust and unreasonable conditions that had the effect of decreasing facilities based competition for business data services and inhibiting the transition to new technologies.  In addition to requiring the companies to file new tariffs, the Commission commenced a proceeding to replace the current tariff framework with a technology neutral regulatory structure based on classification of particular markets as competitive or non-competitive.  The approach proposed by the Commission will survey current marketplace conditions and classify markets as competitive or non-competitive, identify de-regulatory measures that will apply in competitive markets, and tailor a set of rules including price regulation and product tying prohibitions that will apply in non-competitive markets.  The Commission desires to eliminate tariffing of broadband data services entirely.

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