Two top Democrats want to change the law so that the Federal Communications Commission will have to weigh in on requests by telecommunications companies for relief from regulations.
John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and House Telecommunication & Internet Subcommittee chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Proper Forbearance Procedures Act of 2007, which would remove the "deemed granted" language from the Communications Act.
As it stands, if the FCC takes no action on requests to be relieved of regulation because of sufficient competition, the request for deregulation is "deemed granted." Dingell said that because of that language, "many of the FCC’s forbearance decisions are inconsistent or do not include explanations for the commission’s action."
The forebearance petition process has come under criticism recently in Hill hearings.