Public Knowledge Criticizes FCC ‘Reform’ Legislation

The House Communications and Technology Subcommittee this morning approved legislation (HR 3309) to change the way the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers and implements new rules.

The following is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

“The ‘reform’ legislation approved this morning by the House Communications Subcommittee would make a sham out of the principles which have guided our communications laws for the past 75 years. 

“Instead of relying on a fundamental concept of the public’s interest, convenience and necessity in a rule, or in the approval of a transaction, the legislation instead defers to industry’s interest and convenience.

 “While there are some good features to this bill, including flexibility for commissioners to meet, overall we believe it would be a setback to the agency’s ability to carry out its mission. They would harm, rather than enhance, the agency’s ability to carry out its mission while isolating it from all the other Federal agencies subject to the Administrative Procedures Act.”

Note: Public Knowledge has sponsored two conferences on FCC reform and published a March 5, 2010 paper on An FCC For the Internet Age:  Recommendations for Reforming the Federal Communications Commission.   The report is here:  http://fcc-reform.org/f/fccref/fcc-reform-report-card-details-03052010_0.pdf

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