House Panel Questions FCC Commissioners

fccMembers of a key House panel this week had the opportunity to ask questions of FCC leaders on a host of issues, including a number related to the Title II “net neutrality” debate, spectrum concerns, and video marketplace issues.

Regarding the contentious Restoring Internet Freedom order that went into effect last month, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai noted that despite the alarms of the critics, the internet successfully transitioned back to the pre-2015 light touch environment. “We were told that it would be the destruction of the internet, or as some outlets put it, ‘the end of the internet as we know it,’” he said. “But the Restoring Internet Freedom Order has taken effect, and the sky has not fallen. Indeed, the only thing that has fallen is the credibility of the Chicken Littles who made such dire predictions.”

Facing continued criticism from Democrats, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) similarly stated, “We sit here and listen to the same old falsehoods that we ripped away privacy and net neutrality protections, while the reality is all we have done is restore a bipartisan equilibrium and regulatory framework that existed just three years ago.” Walden also expressed disgust with the personal threats made against Pai and his family, and called out “too much silence from certain quarters.”

In another notable exchange, Walden asked Pai about the C-Band spectrum proceeding and how to balance concerns for current incumbents, particularly those that provide downlinks for broadcasters. Pai noted ways they have sought to help incumbents participate and believes the record that forms in the proceeding will help the FCC make an informed decision. In addition to highlighting this proposed rulemaking, NRB has suggested that its members consider the FCC’s window for registration of existing C-Band earth stations.

Video and testimony from this broad hearing is here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: July 27, 2018


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