The recent FCC Business Data Service (BDS) Order provides an option for A-CAM, Alaska Plan, RoR price cap affiliates and future A-CAM adopters to elect lighter touch regulation for their BDS (Special Access) services. They may move such higher speed offerings from RoR to a fully detariffed / deregulated basis, and lower speed services to an incentive (price cap) regulatory framework.
The order offers the option of two effective dates – either July 1, 2019, or July 1, 2020. Elections are one-way, i.e., those carriers who elect to leave the pool cannot return, and must be made for study areas in all states where the carrier is currently receiving fixed (A-CAM or price-cap) support. A new A-CAM election offer is thought to be coming shortly, and electing (A-CAM) carriers will be required to elect effective July 1, 2019 or July 1, 2020.
Once implemented, electing (BDS) carriers would no longer be required to produce cost studies, category relationships can be unfrozen, and affected services will be detariffed. Carriers continuing to offer switched access under RoR regulation may remain in the NECA TS (SW) pool. The costs and resultant rates for lower speed Special Access services that will be subject to incentive regulation (detariffed) or no ex ante (deregulated) will need to be determined.
ICORE can help with your decision to make this election, provide step-by-step instructions to meet all FCC requirements, and calculate your lower speed Special Access tariff rates.
Give us a call.