Dem lawmaker: FCC now stands for 'Forgetting Choice and Competition'

Dem lawmaker: FCC now stands for 'Forgetting Choice and Competition'

Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Dem senator: Trump 'doesn't respect' the presidency Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief MORE (D-Mass.) blasted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday for a new order easing regulations on special data lines that critics say will reduce competition and increase prices.

Institutions like hospitals, small businesses and schools rely on special high-speed internet connections, often called business data services, that they use for devices like ATMs and credit card readers.

Consumer groups and small companies have been critical the proposal, from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, arguing that it will hamper competition and lead to higher prices for the lines.

After the FCC passed its order to deregulate business data services on Thursday, Markey quickly issued a statement voicing his disapproval of the move.  

“With today’s vote on business data services, the FCC now stands for Forgetting Choice and Competition,” Markey said. “Despite data collected by the FCC indicating that approximately 73 percent of BDS locations may only being served by one provider, and the Small Business Administration raising serious concerns about its impact on small businesses, the Commission has forged ahead to the detriment of consumers.”

Markey and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications, have previously urged Pai to postpone the vote.

During the meeting, the commission’s lone Democrat, Mignon Clyburn, also noted her displeasure with the new order, calling it “one of the worst” she’s seen during her eight years at the FCC.

Pai and supporters of his the new policy argue that the current rules are outdated.

Markey has been one of Pai’s most outspoken opponents in Congress. The Massachusetts senator has resisted Pai on every major partisan telecommunications issue since the Republican chairman took the helm of the FCC as earlier this year.