FCC's Pai Focuses on Broadband, Phone, Spectrum in Hill Testimony

FCC chair Ajit Pai's prepared testimony for the House Communications Subcommittee's FCC oversight hearing Wednesday (May 15), which he said he was updating on "the work of the Federal Communications Commission to advance the public interest," was notable for what he didn't say as what he did.

The chairman talked about the race to 5G and cybersecurity and freeing up spectrum for wireless broadband and blocking robocalls and closing the rural digital divide and public safety. But there was scant mention of broadcasting or cable, and none about the FCC's efforts toward the ATSC 3.0 advanced transmission standard, or the status of the post incentive auction repack, or the FCC's consideration of further broadcast deregulation as part of the congressionally-mandated quadrennial review, or the removal of some of the legacy cable and broadcast reporting requirements the FCC has jettisoned.

In fact, the only mention of broadcasters and one of only two brief mentions of cable, was hardly a glowing one. It was in relation to the emergency alert testing the FCC has been conducting--the requirement that broadcasters and cable operators notify the FCC if they have messed up and sent a false alert. The other cable mention was in a list of Connect America Fund applicants.

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.