House Commerce Committee Approves Bill on FCC ReportingCongress, House of Representatives July 31st, 2013
Josh Evans, Reporter, Broadband Census News
WASHINGTON, July 31, 2013 — The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a session Wednesday to mark up H.R. 2844, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidating Reporting Act.
The legislation, sponsored by Reps. Steve Scalise, R-LA; Greg Walden, R-OR; and Anna Eshoo, D-CA, would reduce the number of reports that the commission is required to make.
The purpose of the bill is to streamline the FCC’s reporting process. Rather than producing eight separate reports, the commission will be obligated to produce a single Communications Marketplace Report at the beginning of each Congress. The bill also eliminates four reports on outdated topics such as the status of competition in the telegraph industry.
“Reducing the burden on the FCC to produce multiple reports and instead produce one comprehensive and informative review of the marketplace is the kind of common-sense legislation that this committee has dedicated itself to in working to prepare our government to be more nimble in the information economy,” Walden said.
The committee also approved a bipartisan amendment that would provide extra time for the report if a new chairman is appointed just prior to the deadline. The amendment also clarifies that the FCC will retain its authority to issue additional reports.
“At its core, the FCC should be focused on protecting the public interest and ensuring competition across the communications marketplace,” Eshoo said. “This legislation ensures that the FCC has the flexibility to continue assessing the state of competition across the entire communications marketplace, including particular submarkets like wireless, cable and satellite.”