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House Passes FCC Consolidated Reporting Act

Measure aims to reduce required industry competition reports that agency, businesses help produce

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act, H.R. 3310.

The legislation, introduced by Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, consolidates the reporting obligations of the FCC to improve transparency and oversight while reducing regulatory burdens.

The measure is companion legislation to H.R. 3309, the FCC Process Reform Act, which was which was approved in March.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.

Taken together, the bills are intended to increase FCC transparency, predictability and overall consistency, especially when the agency considers telecommunication mergers.

Reps. Scalise and House Communications Subcommittee Chair Greg Walden, R-Ore., said the Communications Act requires the commission to issue eight reports a year on the industries it regulates.Scalise added that much of the data in these reports is old by the time the FCC can issue the report and both the agency and industry groups are burdened by needing to meet the multiple report requirements.

If passed, the measure would consolidate those into one report with a focus on competition. Both NAB and the cable industry support the measure, the lawmakers said.

The measure “will help our oversight responsibilities and help reduce costs,” said Walden.

New FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said the legislation would modernize the commission’s reporting obligations to reflect the convergence that has taken place in the communications marketplace and at the same time ensure that policymakers receive information critical to making data-driven decisions.