Rockefeller plans mark-up to reinforce FCC Commissioners


Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has set up a wide-ranging mark-up session that among other things will take up a bill which would add a high-impact individual to the staff of each FCC commissioner. Meanwhile, Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is going to have her small business panel look at the National Broadband Plan.

S. 2881, FCC Commissioners’ Technical Resource Enhancement Act, introduced by Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Mark Warner (D-VA), would allow each of the five FCC Commissioners to add either an electrical engineering or computer science expert to their staff as a technical advisor.

The markup is scheduled for Wednesday, 3/24/10 at 10AM.

Snowe has since joined with Ted Kaufman (D-DE) to introduce legislation that would in general move to increase the number of engineers and technical experts employed by the FCC. It would provide for an initial study of the matter by the National Academy of Sciences.

Meanwhile, the first early indication that the National Broadband Plan is going to be one of those things that in going to attract an extra large heaping helping of attention from Capitol Hill, Mary Landrieu has become the first non-Commerce Committee Chair to say she wants a hearing on it. She heads the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and is interested in the small business implications of the plan. She made no mention of the television implications, nor suggested when the event will take place more in terms more specific than “in the coming weeks.”