FCC Reauthorization Bill Advances to Full Committee

A bill to reauthorize the FCC for the first time in more than 25 years sailed through a Communications & Technology Subcommittee this week and on to the full Energy & Commerce Committee. The legislation advanced by Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was a bipartisan consensus package of agency process and reporting reforms, as well as public safety, veterans, and other telecommunications matters. She said, “The agency plays an increasingly important role as society becomes more dependent on technology, and the authorizing statute needs to be updated to reflect the current state of the communications marketplace.”

It is notable that previous language to strike the current newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban was among that which did not make it into the package; however, such issues and others, like spectrum re-packing concerns, may well come up during full committee consideration of the bill.

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly was among those pleased with the advancement of the legislation. Welcoming the subcommittee’s move, he commented, “This legislation codifies key process reforms Chairman Pai and I have championed and that have been adopted into our daily procedures at the Commission. Making these permanent will ensure certainty and transparency to the agency for the future.”

Find more about the bill from the committee here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: October 13, 2017

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