CenturyLink Challenges FCC Order on Business Data Services Pricing

The Telecommunications Law Resource Center is the most comprehensive reference and news platform for communications law, covering broadcasting, cable, broadband, telephony and wireless;...

By Kyle Daly

June 28 — CenturyLink Inc. is the latest company to challenge a Federal Communications Commission tariff order applying new regulations to business data services contracts and pricing.

The company filed a petition June 28 calling for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to vacate a tariff order the FCC approved in April alongside new rules pertaining to business data services, also known as special access. The services are used to connect wireless cell sites to backbone communications networks and to support high-speed broadband services for banks, retailers, government and corporate users, schools and hospitals. The tariff order prohibits the use of certain tariffs that CenturyLink, AT&T Inc., Frontier Communications Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. have included in business data services contracts.

The FCC concluded that such tariffs—which include “all or nothing” provisions that require customers to make all purchases from a single tariff plan, fees if traffic falls below agreed-upon thresholds and early termination penalties—are unjust and unreasonable. CenturyLink said the tariff order was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion” under administrative procedure law, as well as a violation of the Constitution and the Communications Act.

Much of the language in CenturyLink's petition is identical to that in a petition AT&T filed in May.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kyle Daly in Washington at kdaly@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bna.com

For More Information

CenturyLink's challenge is available at: http://src.bna.com/gk2

Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.