Senate Commerce Slates FCC Oversight Hearing

The Senate Commerce Committee has lined up the FCC commissioners--that includes the chairman--for an oversight hearing.

The committee said Wednesday the hearing would be June 12 and review ongoing "activities and proceedings."

It expects a full house of commissioners--three Republicans and a pair of Democrats--though points out that is subject to change.

Among the likely topics of conversation are rural broadband, media ownership deregulation, wireless spectrum auctions and the state of the video regulation, which the committee drilled down on Wednesday (June 5) with industry players in a hearing on changes to the video marketplace.

Among the other issues raised at the video hearing that are in the FCC's wheelhouse are the FCC proposal to revamp PEG (public, educational and government) channel rules, the market-modification process that allows viewers in gerrymandered markets to get their local stations and, more broadly, the review of the STELAR legislation that both allows for those modifications and requires the FCC to enforce good faith bargaining in broadcast retrans negotiations with broadcast and cable operators.

Those STELAR provisions sunset at the end of the year unless Congress renews them.

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.