Bill Introduced To Boost FCC Tech Expertise

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A pair of senators have proposed a bill to correct what they suggest are technical deficiencies at the Federal Communications Commission.

Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) Thursday introduced a bill to boost the FCC's technical prowess. The bill would allow commissioners to appoint technical advisers and require the National Academy of Sciences to study the FCC's technical policy and policymaking decisions and the personnel available to inform those decisions.

"At a time when citizens are demanding more effective and efficient government, this legislation will ensure the FCC is sufficiently equipped, both legally and technically, to craft sound policy," said Snowe.

The FCC Technical Expertise Capacity Heightening (FCC TECH) Act would allow commissioners to appoint an electrical engineer or computer specialist to consult on technical issues.

In a joint release outlining the bill, the senators suggest it is needed to combat an ongoing problem, or what they called the "glaring technical deficiencies at the FCC, which left unaddressed could continue to hamper American innovation and competitiveness."

An FCC spokesperson was unavailable for comment at press time, but chairman Julius Genachowski has also made raising the FCC's "techspertise," as it were, a priority given tech-heavy issues like spectrum that are teed up for major action.

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