FCC Commissioners Appear Before Senate Oversight Panel
May 17, 2012 at 4:27 AM (PT)
The FCC Commissioners appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee WEDNESDAY, and the talk was mostly about the Commission's Open Internet order and net neutrality.
Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI focused on the Commission's National Broadband Plan in his prepared remarks, outing the FCC's moves to allow spectrum sharing and incentive auctions. Commissioner ROBERT MCDOWELL likewise used most of his time to talk about mobile broadband and the Universal Service Fund, but did add comments on the quadrennial media ownership review, noting that a vote is upcoming and that "the Commission appears to be prepared to accept a regulatory status quo. I remain hopeful that the Commission will modernize its rules to reflect the economic realities of the marketplace. Maintaining decades-old industrial policy in this age of competition, mobility and new media is not in the public interest." He called for the elimination of the "1975 vintage" newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership prohibition, calling the relaxation of the ban for the largest media markets "anemic."
Commissioner MIGNON CLYBURN discussed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act opening more video programming options for the disabled, while new Commissioners JESSICA ROSENWORCEL and AJIT PAI kept their remarks brief and general.