Industry reaction was swift and positive in response to the House Energy & Commerce Committee's bipartisan passage of FCC process reform and government spectrum incentive legislation Wednesday (Dec. 11) in a smooth markup session.
"NAB appreciates the efforts of the House Energy & Commerce Committee on reaching a bipartisan agreement and passing FCC process reform legislation,” said National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton. “This bill is an important step in helping broadcasters carry out their mission to serve the public interest by making the FCC more efficient. NAB looks forward to working with the Committee and all stakeholders on ensuring the FCC can perform its duties in an expeditious and data-driven manner."
The bill sets maximum comment periods and takes other steps to speed FCC processes and make them more transparent.
“The [government spectrum] bill provides a creative way to repurpose federal spectrum that isn’t being utilized or used efficiently and in doing so will help the commercial mobile industry gain access to spectrum it needs to maintain America’s place as the world’s leader in wireless broadband service," said CTIA-The Wireless Association vice president of government affairs Jot Carpenter. "This is an innovative bill and it deserves the support of the full House.”
“CTIA also congratulates [Communications Subcommittee] chairman [Greg] Walden on passage of the FCC Process Reform Act. We share his view that a streamlined, more predictable regulatory process will enhance regulatory certainty and promote economic growth, innovation and job creation. With this in mind, we are appreciative that chairman Walden and ranking member Eshoo were able to reach agreement on the bill and hope it will be approved by the full House at the earliest possible date.”
“The legislation approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee today is an important step that will provide for streamlined regulatory processes and are complimentary to reform initiatives underway by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler," said USTelecom President Walter McCormick Jr."We look forward to working with the Senate to get this common sense legislation enacted.”
One of Wheeler's first actions as chairman was to call for a report on reforming FCC processes on his desk by the end of December. At the markup, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the Communications Subcommittee, said that many of the bill's reforms could be done by the FCC on its own dime.
A vote on the bills in the House is expected in January.