Washington

Walden, Eshoo Talk FCC Process Reform

Chairman says he sees bipartisan efforts on specttrum as well 3/13/2011 12:10:54 PM Eastern

While the network neutrality issue has divided the House Communications Subcommittee along partisan lines, Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) says he thinks there will be bipartisan efforts on a number of fronts. to that point, Walden says he had a conversation with ranking member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) last week about FCC process reforms that go beyond simply allowing more than two commissioners to meet in private.

Eshoo introduced a bill last week to change the FCC's sunshine rules to allow more than two commissioners to meet outside of their monthly public meeting, so long as at least one commissioner from both parties is present and no actual action is taken.

But in an interview with C-SPAN's Communicators over the weekend, Walden said he thought the committee could also do more FCC reform on a bipartisan basis. He said during a network neutrality hearing and markup last week, "Anna and I had a side conversation about [potentially working together on some broader reforms."

He also said the thought there could be some bipartisan efforts on spectrum allocation.

Walden is a former broadcaster, but he did say that he thought that getting more spectrum out to the market "where the innovators can take it and go" was the number one thing his subcommittee could do to boost job creation.

The FCC is trying to free up up to 120 MHz of broadcast spectrum as part of a larger effort to reclaim and auction 500 MHz for wireless broadband.

 

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