Communications Act to be Updated for 21st Century

People use mobile devices to record during the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The DNC, which concludes today, nominated U.S. President Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate. 
National Journal
Laura Ryan
Dec. 3, 2013, 1:40 p.m.

Con­gress will re­view the Com­mu­nic­a­tions Act for the first time in 18 years to bring it up-to-date for dy­nam­ic nature of the In­ter­net era, an­nounced Reps. Fred Up­ton, D-Mich, and Greg Walden, R-Ore., Thursday via Google Hangout.

The re­spect­ive Chair­men of the House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee and Com­mu­nic­a­tions and Tech­no­logy Sub­com­mit­tee, joined by former Fed­er­al Com­mu­nic­a­tions Com­mis­sion Com­mis­sion­er Robert Mc­Dow­ell, did not out­line spe­cif­ic goals, but said it will be a multi-year ex­am­in­a­tion of the law.

They said the hall­mark act for the com­mu­nic­a­tions in­dustry—first passed in 1934 and over­hauled in 1996—is in­suf­fi­cient to meet the needs of the 21st cen­tury com­mu­nic­a­tions mar­ket­place. 

“Writ­ten dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion and last up­dated when 56 kilo­b­its per second via dial-up mo­dem was state of the art, the Com­mu­nic­a­tions Act is now pain­fully out of date,” Walden said. “Our goal is to make sure this crit­ic­al sec­tor of our eco­nomy thrives be­cause of the laws around it, not in spite of them.”

Rep. John Din­gell, D-Mich., a cru­cial play­er in tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions law­mak­ing over the last 30 years, re­ac­tion was: pro­ceed with cau­tion.

“Changes should not be made simply for change’s sake, but rather based on clear and doc­u­mented need,” Din­gell said in a state­ment Tues­day.

Prom­in­ent in­dustry or­gan­iz­a­tions such as the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Broad­casters and Na­tion­al Cable and Tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions As­so­ci­ation have praised the move.

“We have long main­tained that many of the laws gov­ern­ing the com­mu­nic­a­tions mar­ket­place are frayed,” said Mi­chael Pow­ell, pres­id­ent of the NCTA. “Since their cre­ation, the land­scape has been trans­formed ““ new, un­ima­gined products and ser­vices as well as dra­mat­ic changes in mar­ket struc­ture.”

Con­gress’s over­haul of the Com­mu­nic­a­tions Act in 1996 helped un­leash the floodgate of in­nov­a­tion by es­tab­lish­ing open com­pet­i­tion policy frame­work to pro­mote rap­id de­vel­op­ment of the tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions and in­form­a­tion in­dus­tries.

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
3 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×