Business Data Services regulations need regulatory reform
- Reforming outdated BDS regulations will help spur investment necessary for increased productivity, economic growth, and job creation.
- BDS competition has flourished since the FCC started its proceeding 12 years ago. Today fiber over-builders and cable operators offer businesses new high-speed Ethernet services in the marketplace to replace legacy 1.5 Mbps services (DS-1s).
- Aligning regulations for legacy business data services to reflect the level of competition in the marketplace is long overdue.
2013 data reveal a robustly competitive BDS market
- BDS services are more competitive than they were in 2005 and the pace of competition has increased since the 2013 data collection.
- Since 2013 competitive providers and cable companies have invested billions to deploy Ethernet and expand their BDS networks and business offerings.
- 2013 FCC data reveal many competitors are now close to business customers:
- In buildings with existing BDS demand: 50% are within 88 feet of competitive fiber; 75% are within 456 feet; 90% are within about 1,107 feet; and virtually all (98.7%) are within a half mile;
- Competing networks deployed in 95+% of census blocks w/BDS demand.
- 2016: 60% of new Ethernet connections delivered by CLECs and cable MSOs
- The FCC’s own outside expert found that “fiber-based competitive supply within at least half a mile [2,640 feet] generally has a material effect on prices of BDS . . .”
FCC action necessary for greater investment and competition
- Maintain light touch regulatory treatment of next generation BDS like Ethernet. This has spurred investment in Ethernet infrastructure and helped increase competition.
- Provide regulatory relief for legacy BDS interoffice transport services. Ubiquitous competitive networks now compete with ILEC legacy networks and provide the basis for removing unnecessary regulatory restrictions on these services.
- Adopt a Competitive Market Test for last mile legacy BDS connections that would provide regulatory relief for services in areas where at least 80% of the customers who purchase BDS are within 2,000 feet of a competitive provider.