FCC set to kick off 2012 open meeting schedule


Since the helm of the FCC was taken over by Chairman Julius Genachowski, the agenda has been completely dominated by broadband issues. Broadcast has pretty much been on the back burner or off the stove entirely. However, neither issue will get top billing on the first open meeting of 2012.

The meeting is on the schedule for the very last day of the month, Tuesday 1/31/12, and the one and only announced item at this point concerns universal service, a much broader topic than broadcast and broadband alone.

The first meeting of the year usually includes presentations from each different bureau and special FCC office on past-year accomplishments and 2012 goals.

Here is the FCC description of the lone agenda item:

“Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: The Commission will consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to comprehensively reform the Lifeline program to ensure universal availability of communications services to low-income Americans while minimizing the universal service contribution burden, including by eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse; strengthening program oversight and administration; and modernizing Lifeline to support broadband adoption.”

RBR-TVBR observation: The most interesting aspect of the January meeting three weeks ahead of time is guessing who will be sitting at the front of the room – will Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) allow Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to be sworn in? Stay tuned.