FCC agenda for January lacks broadcast focus


FCC will convene its first Open Meeting for 2011 on 1/25/11. The January session has traditionally been used by FCC bureaus to look back on the previous year and discuss areas of interest in the year ahead. This time, there are two regular agenda items on the list, but neither is specifically related to broadcasting.

Conspicuously absent from the list is an item concerning the commissioner review of the pending joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski signaled late in 2010 that staff review recommended approval with conditions, and shed no further light on the topic other than that the matter was put on circulation, meaning that the other four commissioners are looking it over, suggesting changes, asking questions, etc.

It is widely suspected that the commissioner vote on final approval will be done outside the Open Meeting process, and the lack of a Comcast/NBCU item on the latest FCC sunshine report would tend to confirm that this will in fact be the case. However, the agenda put forth by the FCC is tentative.

Here are the items on the table:

* Interoperability Order and FNPRM: An Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to ensure that the public safety broadband network is interoperable nationwide.

* Data Innovation Initiative Presentation: Presentation on the status of the comprehensive reform efforts to improve the agency’s fact-based, data-driven decision-making.