FCC: Regulators to review rates for special-access lines sold by telecom providers to businesses

FCC: Regulators to review rates for special-access lines sold by telecom provide

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said in a Monday announcement that rates charged by telecom providers for special-access lines to businesses will be reviewed by the country's telecom regulators.

The rates which telecom providers charge for special-access lines are the rates at which the providers sell high-capacity data and voice connections to businesses. A number of businesses depend on special-access lines for transmitting large amounts of data quickly.

Although it is highly lucrative for big carriers - like AT&T and Verizon - to sell special-access lines to businesses, smaller carriers like Sprint have been arguing that the special-access market is uncompetitive.

The rates for special-access lines will now be reviewed by telecom regulators as the FCC has received approval from the Office of Management and Budget to start collecting details from providers, as well as some purchasers, of special-access connections on the rates, terms and conditions of the services.

On the basis of the information collected, the FCC will ascertain whether the industry is competitive or needs regulation.

Towards that end, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the agency will move forward with data collection and fact-based analysis to "better understand competition in this marketplace, and the impact on consumers." Wheeler also added: "We pursue the Commission's statutory mandate to ensure special access services are provided at reasonable rates and on reasonable terms and conditions."

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