Sprint Reportedly Sues The FCC Over Business Data Services

The FCC is putting forth a new proposal to gut regulations concerning business data services (BDS), and the move has drawn the ire of Sprint and Windstream, who have reportedly filed a suit against the FCC to stop the motion. Both of these companies use BDS for mission-critical backhaul and service augmentation purposes, which means that deregulation opens up the potential for them to end up paying far more, for far less, so to speak. Regulations surrounding BDS had previously kept pricing and price-to-service ratios in check, as well as provided guidelines for how BDS providers should deal with, and contract to clients. The two companies filing suit called the FCC's deregulation order "arbitrary" and "capricious", and even went as far as calling it an "abuse of discretion."

The deregulation order in question, in essence, allows BDS providers to behave and price as they wish. This, of course, could include giving better pricing or preferential access to whomever they choose, jacking up prices as they wish, and modifying services to fit their own goals with almost no regard for their clients. The FCC, for their part, found that the market for BDS is not conducive to such actions, and would essentially self-regulate. The FCC expected providers to voluntarily abide by rules that are beneficial to their customers and allow the industry to carry on much as it has always been, while allowing a bit more freedom to change business plans, enact special pricing, and perform other business reforms as necessary.

The FCC, under Ajit Pai, has increasingly been moving toward a "light touch" regulatory approach for much of their purview. Deregulation has become the norm, and Pai has been showing full faith in businesses to do what's right for themselves and their customers, opting to scale back regulation in order to encourage freedom and innovation in regards to the way companies do business and the services that they offer. Not long ago, this mentality drove Pai to lay out a proposal to do away with the Title II regulation on telecom entities and wireless carriers that has thus far allowed the FCC to enforce Net Neutrality rules.

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