Investigation of BDS tariff provisions, further data analysis lead to new standards and a proposed new regulatory regime
The market for special access service – also known by some (including the FCC) as “business data services” or “BDS” – is under the Commission’s regulatory microscope. In a sprawling, two-pronged decision, the FCC has (a) ordered the four largest BDS providers (among incumbent local exchange carriers, a/k/a ILECs) to revise their tariffs in significant respects and (b) proposed a new regulatory regime for BDS. The massive 288-page “Tariff Investigation Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” arises from complaints raised by competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and other customers of special access service.
By way of background, BDS involves the dedicated point-to-point transmission of data at certain guaranteed speeds and service levels using high-capacity connections. It is used to create private or virtual private networks across a wide geographic area, and to enable the secure and reliable transfer of data between locations. For example, point-to-point BDS lines can provide dedicated access to the Internet and access to innovative broadband services; mobile wireless providers purchase BDS to backhaul voice and data traffic from cell sites to their mobile telephone switching offices. Carriers also utilize BDS to deliver their own customized, advanced service offerings to end users.
As noted, the FCC’s order has two distinct components. Continue Reading