This article describes recent regulatory developments for business data services. This is a huge market estimated to be between $45- and $75 billion, dominated by a few thousand sophisticated customers that purchase very reliable private communication networks. Business data customers, for example, include mobile communications companies and banks. The article examines in detail (1) the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed plan, (2) describes the controversies among the various stakeholders, (3) analyzes the FCC’s revised plan, (4) explains why the revised plan was tabled and (5) outlines network providers’ business strategies for operating in this business environment. In addition to the business focus, the article will raise questions about the meaning of market power, the effectiveness of government regulation as a means for improving market performance through regulation, the type of evidence needed to make its case, and the effects of the Trump administration.
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