Washington DC (Monday August 18, 2014) – Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) special access data collection request. This decision clears the way for the FCC to conduct a comprehensive review of incumbent telecom providers’ market power in the provision of business broadband services.
This data will provide the FCC with information on the extent to which incumbent telecom providers are able to charge monopoly prices for business broadband, while locking up demand to prevent competitive alternatives from expanding their presence in the marketplace.
In response, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition, released the following statement:
“Special access data is competition data. More competition drives better prices and better customer service in the business services marketplace. We applaud the OMB and FCC for taking this important step forward in collecting data that will measure the level of competition in this marketplace. This data collection will help empower the FCC as it ensures that small businesses, schools, libraries and governments are able to obtain broadband service at affordable prices.
“Making policy in the dark is a bad idea. Collecting competition data will help the FCC and the policymakers on Capitol Hill bring more competition and choices to business customers. The limits in choices and higher prices available today are the result of market manipulation by incumbents who have exploited their market power to block competition.
“Deployment of IP technologies, innovation and job growth have all fallen victim to this market power abuse. The data the FCC will now be able to collect will help them identify and stop the anticompetitive practices of the incumbent telecom providers. The ultimate result will be more competition, investment and innovation in broadband for American businesses and consumers.”