U.S. House Pushes Much Needed FCC Process Reform

Over the past few years the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has hardened its deleterious track record of trading in cost-benefit analyses and objective policymaking for sheer political gain. The Commission completely ignored a lack of market failure or consumer harm in enacting Net Neutrality rules. They demanded politically motivated, unrelated, and extraneous regulatory conditions for every merger under their review – including those they eventually crushed. And their timetable for many proceedings progresses like a senior citizen behind the wheel: painfully slow with unpredictable starts and stops.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is taking steps to depoliticize and streamline how the FCC does business. H.R. 3309, sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), would require the FCC to do a cost-benefit analysis and show market failure or consumer harm for regulatory proceedings with an economic impact. It would also stop the FCC from making merger approvals contingent on back-room negotiated mandates and regulations. And it forces the FCC to set a timetable for each type of proceeding, establishing certainty into an otherwise uncertain regultory environment for business.

Make sure to check out the letter Digital Liberty sent to the House of Representatives today urging their support for H.R. 3309. And check out Rep. Walden's op-ed on the bill in Politico.