Hutchison welcomes Communications Act overhaul


Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) not only welcomed the announcement from four key congressional Democrats that they were going to take a look at updating the Communications Act, she said it was a signal to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to “stand down” from his “third way” approach to internet traffic regulation.

The plan to consider an overhaul of the Communications Act came recently from senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and John Kerry (D-MA), and representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rick Boucher (D-VA).

Hutchison said, “Congressional action to update the Communications Act is a clear signal to Chairman Genachowski to stand down on his recently announced plans to reclassify broadband services. Instead of an antiquated regulatory scheme imposed by the FCC, Congress will work to develop a legal and regulatory framework appropriate for our modern communications market.”

She added, “Our nation has experienced robust investment and innovation in the telecommunications sector, and is a global leader in online content and applications because our country does not have a burdensome regulatory environment. Congress is stepping in to address this issue because without our intervention, the FCC’s proposed regulations could stifle future investment in broadband services. I look forward to being an active participant as we move forward on crafting a bipartisan update to the Communications Act.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Hutchison has put forth an interesting, an aggressive and perhaps, a questionable read on the Communications Act proposal – Rockefeller and Waxman have both said they’d move to give the FCC authority to play traffic cop over the internet if necessary. Far from being forced to stand down, Genachowski is more likely to be reinforced as long as Democrats control Congress.

But a large posse of Democrats in the House may be in Hutchison’s corner on this one — maybe she will not have to wait for Republicans to recapture the majority to get her way on this one. See the related story and stay tuned.