The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday proposed a new framework for business data services, dedicated network connections that support essential services like ATMs, credit-card readers, and mobile-phone service.
Business data services carry the massive flows of data exchanged by business, industry, and institutions like hospitals, schools and universities, and provides essential infrastructure to support wireless innovation, including 5G.
This new framework is aimed at promoting fairness, competition, and investment in this $45 billion marketplace, said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. The framework supports the rapid deployment of innovative 5G mobile service by ensuring that wireless providers have fair access to BDS, including packet-based BDS, at just and reasonable rates, terms, and conditions.
The Order would provide an update of legacy TDM rules governing telephone companies (ILECs) designed to address the artificially high prices being charged to small businesses, schools, libraries, and, ultimately, consumers.
These TDM services will continue to be governed by what is known as “price cap” regulation — designed to replicate the effects of a competitive market by setting a maximum price for services, which is continually adjusted downward to account for efficiency gains, offset by inflation. The current price caps have not been adjusted since 2004.