Pryor Heads Communications Subcommittee
Senator has been critical of FCC auctions, pushed for better media content controls
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/13/2013 3:53:06 PM
Ranking full committee member John Thune (R-S.D.) also said Wednesday that Roger Wicker of Mississippi will be ranking member of the Communications subcommittee.
Look for Pryor to pay close attention to the FCC's incentive auctions. The FCC is eyeing ways -- auction rules, spectrum screen -- to ensure that big wireless companies, such as AT&T and Verizon, don't dominate the auction to the exclusion of smaller players.
That was an issue for Pryor in the previous (700 MHz) auction of reclaimed broadcast spectrum stemming from the DTV transition. At the time in 2008, Pryor complained that the FCC -- under then Republican chairman Kevin Martin -- "fouled up" the wireless auction. "History will show that the way the FCC structured the auction basically helped the two big wireless companies [Verizon Communications and AT&T] to the detriment of competition in this country," he said.
Pryor, author of the Child Safe Viewing Act, has also been a leading voice for content-control technologies and examining the impact of media content on kids. Rockefeller is introducing legislation to study media and violence in the wake of the Newtown shootings.
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