FCC's O'Rielly: Look For New Congress To Be Active On Communications Issues
November 18, 2014 at 4:16 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner MICHAEL O'RIELLY told a meeting of the U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE's Telecom and E-Commerce Committee that he expects the new Republican-controlled Congress and Senate to be "very active on communications-related issues."
O'RIELLY, a Republican, projected that "My experiences from the last time Republicans controlled both institutions suggest that considerable time will be spent by the committees of jurisdiction considering how best to modify current law to reflect modern technology and the competitive marketplace or marketplace realities. Call it a rewrite, an update, or just a modernization effort; everything is on the table right now."
O'RIELLY added that he expects the new Congress to "focus significant time conducting oversight of federal departments and agencies" rather than deferring to the White House, meaning "greater review of the Commission’s internal workings and scrutiny of its decisions. Expect more oversight hearings to allow Members to express their views and examine issues closer. Generally, I welcome their interest in communications policy and see more attention on this important sector of our economy as a positive outcome."
In the talk, O'RIELLY called for regulatory reform, including a possible Communications Act update or other bills and asserting that the Commission "must review all our rules and eliminate those that are no longer necessary in light of the vast changes in technology and today’s converging and competitive communications marketplace. Going forward, we must show regulatory restraint and act only when there is concrete evidence of market failure. The Commission must resist regulating to prevent future, hypothetical harms that may or may not materialize."
He called for the Commission to use a "thorough cost-benefit analysis based on verifiable data" in formulating new regulations, and to get through proceedings more quickly, lauding Chairman TOM WHEELER's efforts to clear the Commission's backlog. And he recommended that draft items be posted online in advance of agenda meetings.