Streamlining Rules and Processes: New Steps Forward

Throughout my career I have witnessed many instances where regulatory delay plus burdensome red tape slowed the speed of innovation and hampered expenditure in the communications sector, which plays such a vital role in our nation’s economic growth. That’s why one of the first steps as Chairman was to launch a comprehensive review of the Commission’s operations, with the goal of streamlining processes, updating or getting rid of outdated rules, and generally improving how the agency conducts its businesses. Next month, the Commission will think about two new initiatives in this continuing effort.

Already, we’ve seen significant enhancements to the agency’s operations. Commission employees have made substantial progress on reducing matters pending for more than 6 months, processing license applications and renewal, disposing of petitions for reconsideration and applications for review, and closing open dockets. One of the most obvious reforms was overhauling the consumer complaint procedure. We opened a new complaint portal early this year, and continue to make enhancements in the data being made available openly regarding the complaints filed here at the particular FCC.

One area of focus had been modernizing Part 25 of the Commission’s guidelines, which governs licensing and procedure of space stations and world stations for the provision of satellite television communications services. Led by our own International Bureau, the Commission has revised or eliminated numerous Part 25 rule provisions.

Last week, I circulated to my colleagues an Order making further changes to our Part 25 rules. This proposal would associated with regulatory approval process for satellite television licenses easier and more efficient, significantly reducing regulatory burdens and costs. The Second Report and Order streamlines, clarifies, eliminates, or amends guidelines to allow for more operational flexibility and better accommodate evolving technology while easing administrative burdens on licensees and Commission staff.

While the Commission is definitely committed to eliminating outdated, unnecessary guidelines to let the marketplace work, we must also preserve rules needed to protect consumers and competition. A second item to be considered at the Commission’s next open meeting strikes that balance.

The Commission will vote on an order partially granting a petition meant for forbearance filed by United States Phone system Association from various rules regulating incumbent local phone companies, specially the three remaining “Baby Bells”. These rules were adopted to protect or expand competition, but technological and market conditions have changed significantly, making many of these rules outdated. Eliminating them will promote the ability associated with local phone companies to build away broadband and invest in modern and efficient networks. At the same time, our action preserves rules that remain essential to protect consumers and competition.

These proposals are just the latest evidence that the Fee takes a common-sense approach to regulation, and will eliminate outdated, unnecessary rules to let the marketplace work, while taking necessary steps to ensure consumers are safeguarded.

1 Comment so far:
  •   January 13, 2016 - Ronald Burcham Says:

    Find for me the authority for the existence of the FCC in the Constitution of the United States please. You can’t. It exists because of SCOTUS decisions of which SCOTUS has no constitutional authority to make. Judicial review is a myth of powers usurped by the Marshall Court in the 1803 Marbury v Madison court opinion/decision.

    You shouldn’t be praising the efficiency of the FCC you should be calling for its abolition. Let the markets continue to sort out what the FCC regulates. The markets were doing that before the nationalization of the airwaves by the FCC.

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