Searching for the High Road on BDS Regulation
At the risk of encouraging another “sticks and stones” retort, we’re going to let most of Harold Feld’s latest screed go attacking us for “faux outrage,” “self-righteous sanctimony,” “acting like a 6 year old,” conducting a “non-stop whinefest,” and “smelling like a g*#@!? ashtray.” Maybe Harold was just having a bad day.
Despite its rhetorical flourishes, what’s most notable from Harold’s post is that he offers no response whatsoever to the substantive concerns that were the core focus of NCTA’s blog. Specifically, we explained that regulating the BDS rates of cable operators and other competitive providers that do not have market power (as Verizon and INCOMPAS have proposed and Feld has endorsed), is not supported by any facts in the record, is at odds with four decades of successful FCC policy, and will have damaging consequences for future investment in fiber networks. We’ve been raising those concerns for months now, but we’ve yet to hear a serious response – not from Feld, not from any of the other parties advocating such regulation, and not from those at the Commission who seem to support such a policy.
We’re eager to engage on these substantive issues with any one, at any time, within the ex parte rules and preferably without the name calling. And to be clear, there is nothing “faux” about the outrage that cable operators are feeling about this proceeding. Cable operators are investing billions of dollars in facilities to serve business customers and they are providing thousands of businesses across the country with new service options and lower prices. That is real world competition and the Commission should be taking steps to encourage more of it, not trying to constrain it with government price controls.