Company makes contradictory statements on competition in separate filings to FCC
Verizon, Inc., which has proposed expanding price caps on business data services (BDS) because of a supposed lack of competition in this market, is engaging in doubletalk on the issue, as evidenced by a filing it made in another case, according to a letter from CenturyLink to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
In support of its proposed acquisition of XO Communications, Verizon recently submitted a white paper in which it stated that even after the acquisition is completed, “there will continue to be extensive competition for [BDS] provided over fiber, cable, and copper by a wide range of providers.”
Yet, in its recent proposal in support of price caps to the FCC, Verizon and INCOMPAS, a trade association for competitive networks, portray a business broadband market as lacking competition.
“Verizon is disingenuous in playing both sides of an issue to its advantage in two different FCC matters,” said John Jones, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations at CenturyLink, Inc., one of several network infrastructure providers opposing the Verizon-INCOMPAS proposal. “Verizon can’t have it both ways – arguing that the level of competition is robust when it suits its purposes, then making the exact opposite argument to seek out a government-mandated discount on the rates it pays.”
The $45 billion business data services market, also known as “special access,” is what companies like CenturyLink provide through access to fiber infrastructure networks.
In a letter to the FCC, CenturyLink noted that Verizon and INCOMPAS paint a grim picture of competition to justify their draconian regulatory proposal, even while Verizon’s white paper highlights the intense competition of the business data services market. CenturyLink told the FCC that Verizon’s white paper “undermines any claim that the Verizon-INCOMPAS proposal is an appropriate basis for regulatory action.”
“Verizon has taken two, very diverse positions on competition. Only one of them can be true, so we are eager to hear which information they provided to the FCC is correct,” Jones said.
To read more on Verizon’s conflicting stances, CenturyLink’s letter to the commission can be found here.
The "Invest in Broadband for America" coalition (investinbroadband.org) is made up of CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL), Cincinnati Bell, Inc. (NYSE: CBB), Consolidated Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSL), FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRP) and Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR).