It looks like the FCC’s effort to collect data on special access services is moving full speed ahead. Its latest focus is on the best way to protect the commercially sensitive information it wants to collect and it has asked for comments by July 29, 2013 on that topic.
By way of review, in December 2012, the FCC initiated a comprehensive, mandatory special access data collection directed at all providers and purchasers of interstate and intrastate special access services (e.g., DS1s, DS3s, OC3s, etc.) and most entities that provide “best efforts” business broadband Internet access services. Any company subject to the FCC’s jurisdiction that sells or buys these services will have to file extensive information about their facilities, served locations, prices, revenues, and expenditures. The FCC expects to use this information to evaluate competition in the special access market, which could lead to changes to the pricing flexibility that the FCC has previously given to ILECs for these services.
The FCC is expected to issue a further order within the next two months clarifying certain aspects of the data request in light of comments received and providing instructions on how to respond. That order is not expected to alter the substance of the data requested in the December 2012 order. Once the new order is released, we expect that it could become effective as early as November and the information requested due within a fairly short time after that. So, the extensive data that the FCC is asking companies to file could be due in early 2014. Considering the amount of information and level of detail the FCC has asked for, this will not provide companies with much lead time.
Look for TMI’s upcoming White Paper for details on the information requested by the FCC.
TMI will continue to follow this proceeding closely and provide updates to this Blog. We will also offer more detailed synopsis of the FCC’s orders through our popular Regulatory Bulletin Service.