FCC Cuts Back Regulations on Business Data Services

Date: April 21, 2017

The FCC is rolling back regulations on business data services, but does that have any impact on small business?

While the Trump administration continues to roll back regulations from all corners in Washington, D.C., the FCC has become the latest to curtail rules imposed on certain industries. This most recent rollback targets regulated prices in certain markets.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the FCC voted 2-1 to relax rules governing, “business-to-business data services, such as credit-card readers and ATMs.” The rules cover a variety of services that have been the subject of debate at the FCC, largely due to the myriad of technological advances in recent years.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that the price regulations were harming competition and investment and that the rules had been considered for updates since as early as 2005. The Wall Street Journal reports that the FCC during president Obama’s term considered overhauling these same rules but ultimately decided not to due to lack of data.

The Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn was the lone opposition vote, suggesting that the deregulation would work in favor of larger corporations and could end up raising prices for these services for smaller businesses.

Clyburn said during the meeting that any company utilizing these services should, “brace themselves for a 60% price hike,” once the rules were adopted.

Telecompetitor reports that the decision to de-regulate these business data services was informed from data collected from numerous sources, including outside cable providers, and the new changes will be rolled out over time.



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