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A single broadband provider can be competitive – US ruling

A US appeals court has upheld a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling that broadband markets can be competitive even when there is only one internet provider. The FCC can “rationally choose which evidence to believe among conflicting evidence”,  the court ruling said. As Ars Technica reports, the FCC voted last year to eliminate price caps imposed on some business broadband providers such as AT&T and Verizon. The decision eliminated caps in any given county if 50% of potential customers “are within a half mile of a location served by a competitive provider”. This is known as the “competitive market test”. Because of this, broadband-using businesses might not benefit from price controls even if they have just one choice of ISP. “The FCC decision was challenged in court by competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and purchasers of business broadband, including Sprint and Windstream. But the FCC order was mostly upheld yesterday in a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. The court said that the FCC provided adequate notice to the public before making most of the changes in the deregulation order. The court also rejected challenges to the economic theory and merits of the FCC’s competitive market test.” The FCC's decision to lift price caps affected Business Data Services (BDS), which are dedicated, point-to-point broadband links delivered over copper-based TDM networks by incumbent phone companies like AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink. The decision affects prices paid by customers including businesses, government agencies, schools, libraries, hospitals and wireless carriers. Read more

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

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