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