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Sen. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeySenate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs Dems ask FCC to postpone vote on business data reforms Senate Dem: Trump team moving U.S. to militaristic solution in North Korea MORE (D-Mass.) blasted the Federal Communications Commission Thursday for a new order easing regulations on special data access lines that critics say will reduce competition and increase prices.

And the Commission, as expected and with the same 2-1 margin, restored the TV "UHF Discount" used in determining compliance with national ownership caps "until the Commission can address its national television ownership rule more holistically, in a proceeding to be launched later this year".

"In 2014 and 2015, the FCC collected data on the BDS market in the largest data collection in the agency's history". "Instead, high-bandwidth applications, like video and teleconferencing, are driving demand for modern, high-speed Ethernet packet-based networks". At present, BDS is a $45 billion market opportunity per annum.

According to the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), a pro-deregulation policy group whose members include AT&T, the market is "highly competitive". A county would also be classified as competitive if 75 percent of census blocks are served by a cable provider.

Many politicians have talked in recent months "about protecting our nation's small businesses - the backbone of the American economy", said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat. They and others asked the FCC to delay Thursday's vote in favor of gathering more data on the market.

"This was illogical and likely unlawful", Pai said.

BDS generated a number of back-and-forth debates during Tom Wheeler's tenure as FCC chairman. "The price is too low, network owners won't have an incentive to invest in more modern networks".

"In reaching this decision, the FCC didn't examine whether the facts justified a more stringent cap or analyze whether the cap should have been raised at the same time the UHF cap was eliminated".

The commission also adopted a request for comment seeking input on when carriers must obtain FCC permission to alter or discontinue a service and a notice of inquiry that seeks comment on using FCC preemption authority to prohibit the enforcement of state and local laws that pose broadband deployment barriers. Wireless carriers rely on them to get data from an end user to a node in a major network or the so called backhaul of mobile traffic.

Prior to the order, some areas experienced a loss of services during such "tech transitions" including fax and alarm systems, and in some cases couldn't even guarantee 9-1-1 service. "It isn't clear the FCC can restore an obsolete rule", he said.

The Federal Communications Commission continued deregulation efforts under the stewardship of the panel's new Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, relaxing two key rules Thursday affecting TV stations and telecom companies. "This represents a rational first step in media ownership reform policy allowing free and local broadcasters to remain competitive with multinational pay TV giants and broadband providers", said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith in a statement.


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