House FCC Process Reform Act Resurfaces

A Federal Communications Commission process reform bill is being reintroduced in the House Communications Subcommittee and will be one of the subjects of a May 15 hearing on FCC transparency and reforms.

House Communications Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), ranking member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) have circulated a discussion draft of the FCC Process Reform Act, which passed the House last March but failed to get traction in the Senate.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association had backed the bill, saying that it "furthers the important objective of encouraging greater transparency and predictability in FCC decision making, and ensures that business can continue to invest and innovate with more consistent federal oversight."

Among many other things, the bill gives the FCC a year to set minimum comment periods, establishes procedures for putting specific language of a proposed rule in notices of proposed rulemaking, and comes up with performance measures for evaluating the effectiveness of rules.

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.