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After Buffalo, Media and Tech Can’t Look Away Any Longer

This tragedy should be a catalyst to a fundamental reckoning.
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WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission released an order in its longstanding special access proceeding. The term special access refers to a broad category of services and technologies used by cellphone providers, large and small businesses, and institutions like colleges and hospitals.  They depend on these services to transport data to and from the Internet and the public telephone network, and typically need to buy such high-capacity connections from companies like AT&T, Verizon or large cable companies.

The FCC decision suspends the flawed tests that the FCC has used during the past decade to assess competition, resulting in deregulation of special access services in cities around the country and higher prices for consumers.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

"For too long, special access has been little more than a special advantage for AT&T and Verizon, and they've used it to choke off competition and keep prices high. This FCC order is a welcome step towards reevaluating the system and preventing the worst abuses by dominant incumbent providers. The FCC now needs to finish the job and fix the policies that allowed the market for these services to become so uncompetitive and overpriced in the first place."

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