Rosenworcel: FCC Has Twin Responsibilities to Congress, Public - Broadcasting & Cable

Rosenworcel: FCC Has Twin Responsibilities to Congress, Public

Exercise regulatory humility with technological change, have a respect for power of that tech to "invert what we think we know"
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Witnesses at Hill hearings are routinely asked
to summarize their prepared testimony in the interests of time. That will not
be necessary with new Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who
plans to offer only brief opening remarks at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing
Wednesday.

The hearing is chaired by her former boss, Jay
Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). As his top telecom adviser, she has already provided the
committee with her take on key telecom issues over the past five years, but the
brevity stems instead  from the fact that she will have only been a
commissioner for a little over two days when she testifies.

According to a copy of those remarks, she will
give a shout out to incentive auctions and the FCC's history of delivering the
goods -- raising $50 billion for the treasury. She also says she is confident
that the "right mix of engineering and economics," the incentive
auctions can follow in that tradition and, so long as the FCC follows the law,
be "fair to all stakeholders."

That law includes the requirement that
broadcasters not be forced to participate.

She says that the FCC should exercise
regulatory humility when it comes to technological change and have a respect
for the power of that technology to "invert what we think we know." However,
she says there are other "enduring values" that aren't on the table
for inversion:

"Public safety is paramount. Universal
service means that everyone in this country, no matter who they are or where
they live, should have access to first-rate communications services.
Competition inspires private sector investment and drives the development of
more innovative services at lower cost. And consumer protection is always in
the public interest," she says. "[I]t is the duty of this agency to
listen to the Congress and be responsible to the American people."

Spoken like the former aide and spiritual heir
to the commissioner who preceded her in that chair, Michael Copps.

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