FCC Pulls Business Data Services Item from Agenda

Special access price controls now appear off the agenda of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, as a vote on that item (business data services) has been taken off the Commission’s Nov. 17, 2016 meeting. The withdrawal appears to be a reflection of the coming change in FCC composition when President elect Trump takes office in January 2017, triggering a change in agenda, chairman and membership of the FCC.

Deletion of the item, assuming the next FCC will not be inclined to pursue the matter further, will likely be financially beneficial for sellers of special access (Comcast, Charter Communications, AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon and a few other firms). Buyers of special access services (Sprint, T-Mobile US) will not see lower prices for special access, as the FCC would have put into place price controls on such services in many markets.

In a clear sign that job losses were expected if the rules had been put into place, the Communications Workers of America also opposed the price control rules.

Such forbearance is not unusual. The FCC also refrained from undertaking major rule changes in the months leading up to the first term inauguration of President Barack Obama.
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