The House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet has hosted the sitting FCC Commissioners in its effort to reform the way the FCC does business. Now it has a draft known as “Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2011” to consider.
The committee, under the gavel of Greg Walden (R-OR), will meet Wednesday at 10:30 AM. Although no current commissioners are on the witness list, there is one former commissioner: Republican Kathleen Abernathy will be one of those providing testimony.
The bill would do a number of things to amend FCC procedure. It would:
* require the FCC to publish a final version of any proposed rule change for public comment
* make sure all commissioners have time to adequately study any matter that comes before them for a vote
* provide for private meetings of three or more commissioners
* allow bipartisan majorities of commissioners to initiate proceedings
* provide for publication of certain statistical reports and ex parte communications
* provide for listing of all pending matters 60 days old or older
* establish deadlines for FCC decisions
* provide Committee with biannual report card on FCC effectiveness
* require that transaction conditions be narrowly tailored and only include items that could be adopted as a similar rule
* require a biannual competitive media marketplace study every odd-numbered year
A draft of the bill is available here.
The witnesses at the hearing will include:
* The Hon. John Sununu, Honorary Co-Chair, Broadband for America
* Kathleen Abernathy, Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President, Frontier Communications
* Mark Cooper, Research Director, Consumer Federation of America
* Ronald Levin, William R. Orthwein Distinguished Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law
* Randolph J. May, President, Free State Foundation
* Brad Ramsay, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners