The Senate Commerce Committee spent over three and a half hours with the five FCC commissioners in an oversight hearing Wednesday, and while chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said it was not going to be about Title II, for all practical purposes it was.
Republicans hammered the Title II decision, including the FCC minority that spent 80 pages dissenting from it. The commissioners will only have a few hours to rest up before repeating the process at a House oversight hearing scheduled for Thursday morning. Democrats stood up for the decision, saying the FCC had gotten it right, notably Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) who waxed historical about the need for smart FCC regulation at key times.
There was some bickerish back and forth between FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and commissioner Ajit Pai during the hearing over paid prioritization and FCC process. Wheeler at one point said he had been impugned, but did not press it.
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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.
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