Former FCC Chairmen to Address House Panel

A few former FCC chiefs will testify before the Members of Congress next week on the current status of communications law. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman of the Communications Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, has invited former FCC Chairmen Dick Wiley (R), Reed Hundt (D), and Michael Powell (R) to address the subcommittee as it begins its “#CommActUpdate” review of current law.

Noting that there are "few better equipped to provide insight and expertise,” Chairman Walden declared, “I expect the subcommittee will discuss a broad array of issues with the former chairmen as we chart our course to update the law to better fit today's communications marketplace, foster innovation and opportunity, and promote consumer choice, job creation, and economic growth."

Mr. Wiley served as FCC Chairman from 1974 to 1977 and founded the Wiley Rein law firm in 1983. Mr. Hundt, FCC Chairman from 1993 to 1997, currently heads the Coalition for Green Capital environmental group. Mr. Powell, FCC Chairman from 2001 to 2005, is the CEO of the National Cable  & Telecommunications Association.

Notably, the Energy & Commerce Committee this week also released its first in a series of white papers seeking stakeholder comment regarding its review of the Communications Act. Chairman Walden, joined by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), stated, “This is the first step in a multi-year open and transparent effort and we look forward to broad input from the many interested parties.” Comments to the committee on this first paper are requested by January 31.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: January 10, 2014