Top Industry Associations Weigh In on FCC Reform

Applaud Review of Process; USTelecom Supports Specific Proposals
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Industry representatives Thursday were cautiously supportive of Republican efforts to reform FCC processes. 

In advance of Thursday's hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee on draft FCC reform bills, broadcast, cable and phone association execs expressed varying degrees of support, though all indicated general agreement that some form of FCC reform was needed. 

"NAB continues to support efforts by Chairmen Upton and Walden to take a fresh look at FCC processes to ensure that Commission procedures don't impede the ability to serve the public interest," said National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith. "The agency has a critically important mission, and it is imperative that it execute that mission expeditiously, fairly and in a data-driven manner. We look forward to working with the Committee and the Commission to ensure that the FCC functions at the highest level for the American people."

NCTA president Michael Powell, a former FCC chairman who himself has called for reforming how the FCC regulates, similarly steered clear of specifically endorsing the bill's proposals, but applauded the effort to improve the process. 

"We thank Chairman Walden and members of the committee for their continued interest in improving FCC procedures and processes," Powell said. "Given today's competitive communications landscape, it is appropriate that policymakers carefully consider new ideas that promote transparency and predictability in decision making, streamline reporting requirements and remove outdated regulatory obstacles."

USTelecom president Walter McCormick Jr. came the closest to endorsing the bills themselves.

"We appreciate the continued efforts of Chairmen Upton and Walden to improve the FCC's transparency, efficiency, and accountability," he said. "The legislation being discussed at today's hearing will provide for streamlined regulatory processes and increased regulatory certainty, complementing reforms undertaken by President Obama and former Chairman Genachowski. We hope that today's hearing will lead to an even fuller examination in the months ahead of the need to update our nation's communications laws, and we look forward to working with the committee to achieve broad bipartisan consensus on further measures to address the emerging needs of our 21st century economy."