NCTA Seeks More Comment Time for Biz Data Item

Says FCC has proposed complicated, radical expansion
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The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has asked the FCC for an extra 45 days to file initial comments and another 30 for replies to the FCC's business data services (formerly special access) reform proposal.

A politically divided FCC voted Thursday (April 28) to propose remaking the business broadband marketplace and potentially regulating rates for cable operators' special access service.

In a motion for extension of time filed Friday (May 13), on the eve of its INTX convention in Boston, NCTA said the FCC had a chance to resolve issues regarding incumbent carrier rates and instead proposed to expand them to cover new services, including cable.

NCTA called that proposal, which it has major problems with, a complicated and voluminous effort that radically expands the scope of the proceeding, so needs some expanded comment time to take it all in,

The pleading cycle adopted by the Commission fails to reflect the radically expanded scope of the proceeding, severely constrains the ability of NCTA’s member companies to meaningfully participate in this proceeding, and lends credence to concerns raised by one commissioner that “the outcome is predetermined," NCTA said.

"Against this backdrop [two of the three commissioners that voted for the proposal commenting on its complexity], the notion that parties to the proceeding should have less than two months to prepare comments and less than one month for reply comments sends an unmistakable signal that the Commission is not really interested in building a full and complete record."

NCTA said it is aware of the FCC's policy of not routinely granting extensions, but says there is nothing routine about the proceeding and the "inadequate" comment cycle."