The House Energy & Commerce Committee Communications Subcommittee has scheduled an FCC oversight hearing for May 15 at 10 a.m.
The subcommittee leadership says all five commissioners--the chairman is also a commissioner--have agreed to testify.
That Democrat leadership telegraphed the potential contentiousness of the hearing, at least when it comes to questioning the Republican majority members.
“Congress charged the FCC with regulating the communications sector to promote the public interest, competition, public safety, and protect consumers," said Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.). "Unfortunately, the current FCC has too often sided with corporate interests over the needs of the American people. The Committee will examine past FCC decisions that have harmed consumers and question the Commissioners about proposals before the FCC that raise serious public interest and policy concerns.”
Likely among those decisions will be suspending broadband subsidy payouts, eliminating net neutrality regulations, and proposals to loosen children's TV and broadcast ownership regs.
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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.