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NAB Endorses FCC Reform Effort

Smith says ‘It is entirely appropriate for Congress to update the rulemaking process.’

The NAB this week voiced its support for FCC reform bills on Capitol Hill.

The statement was in response to scheduled markup by a House committee of two pieces of legislation.

According to Radio World sister publication Broadcasting & Cable, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association also supported full committee consideration. Those bills have passed out of the Communications Subcommittee.

Some congressional Republicans have been critical of how the FCC does its job.

One bill, the FCC Process Reform Act, would require the commission to issue a notice of inquiry before rulemakings are launched, and identify a market failure, consumer harm or regulatory investment barrier before it adopts “economically significant” regulations. The commission would also have to demonstrate that benefits of regulation outweigh the costs. Conditions the FCC puts on transactions would have to be within its existing authority and not tailored to fix “transaction-specific” harms, B&C reported.

The FCC Consolidated Reporting Act would modify the commission’s surveys of the state of competition in the marketplace, taking into account competition from the Internet, among other changes.

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith put out a statement: “NAB supports legislative efforts by Chairmen Upton and Walden designed to modernize and reform FCC decision-making. Given the breakneck speed under which broadcasters and other media companies are reshaping the telecommunications landscape, it is entirely appropriate for Congress to update the rulemaking process and find ways to make it work faster and better. NAB respects the leadership of Chairman Genachowski, and we stand ready to help him and FCC staff implement changes resulting from legislation that brings greater clarity and transparency for licensees dealing with the FCC.”