Communications Subcommittee Tees Up Regulatory Review Panelists

The Republican staff of the House Energy & Commerce Committee will host a "listening session" March 24 as part of its Reducing Regulatory Burdens Task Force, and it has decided who it will be listening to when it comes to reducing the regulatory burdens at the FCC.

According to an email obtained by B&C, Republican FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly and Free State Foundation president and former top FCC official Randolph May have been tapped to make up the panel talking about regulatory issues under the purview of the Communications & Technology Subcommittee.

Both O'Rielly and May are proponents of streamlining regulatory processes and increased transparency about FCC decisionmaking.

“I don’t want to preempt beforehand what I will say in the session," May told B&C/Multichannel News, "But I will say, just briefly, that in addition to the more pure process reforms about which I have testified previously, reducing regulatory burdens at the FCC needs to involve more substantive mechanisms such as requiring rigorous cost-benefit analysis, using pro-competition evidentiary presumptions in agency proceedings, revising the Communications Act’s forbearance provision so the agency cannot so easily dismiss forbearance petitions, reforming the merger review process, and the like."

The sessions are open to staffers and stakeholders, but not press.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.