Senate Commerce Slates Communications Hearings


Mark your calendars: The Senate Commerce Committee has slated 14 communications-related hearings for the first three months of 2006 as it prepares to rewrite the Telecom Act of 1996.

Content will take center stage, with the hearings leading off with a double-header Jan. 19 on "decency" and Internet porn, but such hits as video franchising, wireless spectrum reform, and video franchising are also on the playlist.

The list, released Monday, does not yet include any hearings to mark up legislation, which can't be scheduled that far in advance.

That means there is still the possibility of a promised second DTV transition bill to deal with many of the issues not dealt with in the first bill, which which was confined to a hard date for the switch to analog and money to help make analog sets work in the digital world and for first responders.

The hearing list follows:

Thursday, January 19, 2006, Decency, 10 a.m.

Thursday, January 19, 2006, Internet Pornography, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006, Video Franchising, 10 a.m.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006, Video Content, 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 26, 2006, Competition and Convergence, 10 a.m.Tuesday, January 31, 2006, Broadcast and Audio Flag, 10 a.m. Tuesday, February 7, 2006, Net Neutrality, 10 a.m. Tuesday, February 14, 2006, State and Local Issues and Municipal Networks, 10 a.m.Tuesday, February 28, 2006, USF Contributions, 10 a.m.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006, USF Distribution, 2:30 p.m.Thursday, March 2, 2006, Wireless Issues/Spectrum Reform, 10 a.m.Tuesday, March 7, 2006, Rural Telecommunications, 10 a.m.Tuesday, March 14, 2006, VOIP, 10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006, Wall Street's Perspective on Telecommunications, 2:30 p.m.