O'Rielly: FCC Should Expect Tougher Oversight From GOP

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly says that the "deep deference" he suggests the Democrat-controlled Senate has accorded the Obama administration is a "thing of the past," which means there will be tougher scrutiny of federal agencies, including the FCC.

Speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Telecom and E-Commerce Committee meeting Nov. 17 in Washington, O'Rielly said he wanted to talk about the "elephant in the room," and he didn't mean network neutrality.

Actually he was talking about elephants plural, and the room was the Senate chamber that will be controlled by Republicans once the new Congress is seated.

"I expect that the new Congress will be very active on communications-related issues. My experiences from the last time Republicans controlled both institutions," he said referring to his time as a former Hill staffer, "suggest that considerable time will be spent by the committees of jurisdiction considering how best to modify current law to reflect modern technology and the competitive marketplace or marketplace realities.

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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.