FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Tuesday he shares
concerns about the retrans dispute between Time Warner Cable and Hearst,
and that the FCC is monitoring the situation, but reiterated that the FCC's
authority is limited.
Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) raised the issue at an FCC
oversight hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee Tuesday.
Bass said many New Hampshirites have awoken to a blue screen
when the only full-power network affiliate in the state went dark on the Time
Warner Cable system.
Bass said he had corresponded with the chairman over their
agreement that consumers were being harmed by the disputes, and pushed for an
answer on when the FCC would act on its proposals -- it has been over a year
since they were offered up.
The chairman said that under the "old laws" the
FCC's authority is limited, but reiterated that he was willing to work with
Congress on whether the law needed to be updated per changes in the
When pressed again for an answer on when the FCC would complete
its proceeding on its proposed changes, Genachowski said he would need to get
back to him, saying again that the FCC's options are limited, but adding that
the committee should not wait for the FCC to act.