Politico Morning Tech - FCC Special Access Decision Looms
By Alex Byers
Lawmakers are pressuring the FCC to reject AT&T’s attempt to end its longest-term contracts for special access services. Today is the deadline for the commission to decide AT&T’s petition to drop the contracts — technically a change to the company’s tariffs. AT&T’s opponents contend that ending the contracts in effect raises prices on companies that contract with AT&T for the services.
Markey and Democratic Reps. Mike Doyle, Anna Eshoo, and Doris Matsui say that the commission should keep the tariff in place until after the FCC finishes collecting new data to determine the competitive footprint for special access.
The special access market is estimated at $12-$18 million and is critical for smaller carriers that depend on the services to supply business customers. While it’s unclear what the commission will do, industry sources expect the commission to suspend AT&T’s request.
** What’s changed since the last FCC Chair took office in the mobile stone age four years ago? Then, no 4G LTE service. Now, 21 companies offer it. Smartphone ownership nearly tripled, and Americans will download 100 billion apps in 2013. How do we continue the mobile (r)evolution? Learn more: http://bit.ly/1jvyuUX **