FCC process hearing on the schedule


Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and members of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet have been promising a review of the way business is conducted at the FCC, and have now announced when they will make good on that promise. It will be very shortly after members return from their spring recess.

The session is being called “FCC Process Reform.”  It’s on the schedule for Tuesday, 5/3/11 at 10AM eastern.
It is expected that the witness list will include FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and all four FCC commissioners.

Republicans on the Subcommittee and its parent Committee on Energy and Commerce have often accused the FCC of indulging in overreaching and power grabs, most recently in the form of its network neutrality rules passed on a party-line vote late in 2010. There have also been objections to the imposition of conditions on transactions, such as the recent blockbuster joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal.

The hearing will come as the FCC prepares to review the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T.

Fred Upton (R-MI) is chairman of the full committee and is a past chair of the Communications Subcommittee. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) are the ranking members of the full committee and subcommittee, respectively.

RBR-TVBR observation: If the FCC was producing outcomes that the current Republican leadership approved of, it still wouldn’t get out of a Capitol Hill grilling. It would just mean that Democrats, not Republicans, would be questioning the process and hauling the Commissioners up the Hill for a grilling. Just ask Kevin Martin.