Genachowski touts FCC reform efforts


Republicans in the House Energy and Commerce Committee have been making sure that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski does not forget a presidential mandate to streamline his agency’s rules and regulations. Genachowski says he is willingly and cheerfully doing just that.

Genachowski stated, “Shortly after the President’s initial Executive Order, I directed FCC staff to follow the spirit of the Order. We had already conducted retrospective reviews, and incorporated cost-benefit analysis into our decision-making. I am proud of the progress we have achieved over the past two years toward making the FCC a model of excellence in government.  We have repealed more than 50 outdated regulations and identified 25 sets of outdated data collections for elimination.”

The key body of regulation that got the attention of legislators was the Fairness Doctrine. The long-dormant set of rules was discovered to still cling to life by Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell. Genachowski immediately pledged to do away with it and suggested that the actual expunging of the Doctrine from the records will take place in August.

He mentioned actions already taken:

“We have also removed regulatory restrictions on spectrum use and we moved to bring market-based incentive auctions to reallocate inefficiently used spectrum. We have taken action to preserve free data flows and free markets on the Internet, increasing certainty and predictability, and spurring investment in both applications and infrastructure. And we are reforming universal service funding to remove waste and inefficiency and incorporate market-based funding mechanisms.”

And detailed actions to be taken:

* Reducing Commission backlogs, including an 89% reduction in satellite licensing applications and a 30% reduction in broadcast licensing applications;

* Involving the FCC’s Chief Economist and the agency’s expert economists in the early stages of rulemakings;

* Appointing Ruth Milkman as Special Counsel for Innovation in Government, working with our Chief
Economist, General Counsel, and other senior staff on a plan to continue our reform efforts; and

* Directing the FCC staff to prepare a plan to continue identifying outmoded or counterproductive rules.