The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
The PUC has announced that the workshop originally scheduled for December 4, 2013, has been rescheduled to be held on January 16, 2013. The workshop is for the purpose of discussing issues related to the investigation into the performance of the 911 network during recent flood and fire-related disasters. See The Regulatory Mix dated November 21, 2013 for further details.
US House of Representatives
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden announced plans to examine and update the Communications Act for the Internet era. The Chairmen envision a multi-year effort. Chairman Upton said that while the US has been the “global leader in innovation and growth of the Internet,” its laws have not kept pace. Chairman Walden said the legislators would “look at the Communications Act and all of the changes that have been made piecemeal over the last 89 years and ask the simple question: ‘Is this working for today’s communications marketplace?’ Our goal is to make sure this critical sector of our economy thrives because of the laws around it, not in spite of them.” Read the announcement
Former Committee Chairman John Dingell issued a statement in response to the announcement urging caution. “As the author of every major telecommunications statute for the past three decades, I caution my Republican colleagues to approach modernizing the Communications Act with great care and attention to detail. Changes should not be made simply for change’s sake, but rather based on clear and documented need. I urge my colleagues to proceed in a bipartisan manner and to hold numerous hearings in order to generate the record an undertaking this substantial will require. This will affect a rapidly changing industry, with many jobs and billions of dollars in investment at stake. We should approach this in a balanced fashion in order to preserve and promote American leadership in the telecommunications industry. I am ready, willing, and able to work with my Republican and Democratic colleagues in this effort.”
Also reacting to the announcement was FCC Commissioner Pai. He said, in part: “In a converged industry, it does not make sense to apply different rules to providers and technologies that compete in the same markets. Convergence is now the norm, and consumers, companies, and the Commission would be better off if our laws and regulations recognized as much. As the Committee moves forward with its work, I stand ready and able to assist in whatever way I can.”