The House Monday (Jan. 23) unanimously passed H.R. 599, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2017, which was sponsored by Energy & Commerce Committee member and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).
It was one of a package of 11 bills out of the Energy & Commerce Committee that passed the House Monday.
The bill would consolidate eight FCC reports into a single, biennial, review of competition in the communications marketplace. The FCC is required to consider the Internet as a marketplace competitor, something the FCC has been reluctant to do, signaling it was a nascent competitor, but not yet a full-fledged one.
The state of broadband deployment must be assessed using a list of geographical areas without any advanced telecom provider.
A similar bill passed the House, either as a standalone or part of a package, in three previous Congresses.
"The Energy and Commerce has always been known as a legislative workhorse and we’ve hit the ground running in the 115th Congress,” said committee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.).
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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.