FCC's Wheeler: Mulling Options For Preempting Muni Broadband Restrictions

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Friday (June 13) provided some more guidance on when the FCC might be acting on preempting state regulation of municipal broadband, something Wheeler has suggested the FCC should do.

That came in a press conference following the FCC's June public meeting. A reporter pointed out that the commission had signaled it might act in May.

"We missed May," he conceded. "It will shock you to know that sometimes things don't move as quickly as otherwise might be hoped," he said. But he also said the commission had "multiple pathways" to deal with municipal broadband. We can have a notice of inquiry. We can have a notice of proposed rulemaking. We can respond to a petition and, right now, we are reviewing what our options are."

Wheeler also said in response to another question that the FCC is "obviously highly sensitive" to input from Congress. That came Friday in response to a press conference question about how the FCC treats congressional input--letters, hearings--on mergers.

"When they they give us their thoughtful input we want to make sure we "take it onboard," he said. "It becomes part of the record and therefore the thought process of the agency."

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.