CenturyLink reports it is filing a motion to strike what it says is the "irretrievably flawed" data framework underlying the FCC’s recent business data services proposal. Joining in the filing are AT&T, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, FairPoint Communications and Frontier Communications.

“The motion comes in response to recent acknowledgements by four of the largest cable providers that they significantly undercounted the number of locations that are capable of providing business data services and thus deemed competitive,” CenturyLink says in a statement. “In fact, the cable companies' most recent FCC filings reflect 22 times more Ethernet-capable locations than the data on which the FCC based its May 2 further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM)."

CenturyLink SVP for Public Policy and Government Relations John F. Jones says the company is concerned that the FCC's latest business broadband proposal is now based on “fatally flawed data that, unless corrected and updated, could have serious economic consequences for the business broadband market."

"We're asking the FCC to rescind the affected portions of its proposal and update its data before pronouncing judgment on what is or isn't competitive," he says.

The FCC's FNPRM proposes positive step toward deregulating competitive areas, the motion states, but it argues that the rulemaking decisions regarding pricing and additional regulation in non-competitive markets “must be grounded on a sound factual basis.”

“It has now become clear that the report prepared by Dr. Marc Rysman used in the FCC rulemaking, as well as nearly all other analyses submitted into the record, were based on an irretrievably flawed data set that severely understated cable providers' ability to provision true business data services," the companies' motion says. 

The motion charges that “cable providers did not clearly or fully report that they were able to provide business data services using metro Ethernet in 22 times more census blocks than were reflected by the original data in 2013. The Rysman report and many other FCC analyses were based on that data.”