European Union Has Issues with FCC's Business Data Services Proposal

Author: John Eggerton
Coverage Type: reporting
European Union, Brussels, Belgium

Add the European Union (EU) to those raising red flags over the Federal Communications Commission's planned April 20 vote on a broadband business data services deregulation order proposed by new FCC chairman Ajit Pai. In a letter to the FCC from EU Ambassador to the David O'Sullivan, who oversees the bilateral relationship between the EU and US, said that the FCC's 20-day window between publishing the order and voting on it did not allow for a "full consultation" with EU stakeholders, but said that from what they could glean from the draft, it was a troubling change that the FCC should reconsider. O'Sullivan stopped short of saying the FCC should delay the vote, but did say that if the FCC proceeded it should provide a transition period. But he offered plenty of reasons why the EU thought the FCC should rethink the BDS order. He cited the FCC's extensive data collection and the rulemaking proposal based on that and voted under Pai's predecessor, Tom Wheeler, and over Pai's dissent, that the incumbent providers (former Bells) did not face effective competition in most markets.


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