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Upton, Walden to Update Communications Act

Multiyear effort to update nearly 18-year-old legislation

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden plan to update the Communications Act.

Making the announcement on Google Hangout, the committee leaders and former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell outlined the need to adapt the law to today’s marketplace.

Upton termed the project a “multiyear effort,” focused on updating the communication laws to fit the Internet age. “The United States has been the global leader in innovation and growth of the Internet, but unfortunately, our communications laws have failed to keep pace.”

When the Communications Act was last revised nearly 18 years ago, 56 kilobits-per-second via dial-up modem was state of the art, says Walden, noting “the Communications Act is now painfully out of date.”

The revision will involve a series of white papers asking questions about what to do to improve the laws governing the communications marketplace as well as a “robust conversation” using digital media platforms, promise the lawmakers.

Follow events on Twitter using the hashtag #CommActUpdate.