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Public Statements

Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Mr. Scalise for his leadership on this issue, and I want to thank Ms. Matsui for hers as well, and for the work that we are all doing on the subcommittee to improve the processes and procedures at the FCC, bring about efficiencies and accountability, and look for Federal spectrum that might be freed up to help grow jobs and spur innovation in America.

This particular piece of law, as we move it forward, H.R. 3310, gets about trying to reduce some waste. It really starts with Congress because this is all stuff that is in statute that we have to change. Believe it or not, the Communications Act still requires the Federal Communications Commission to assess the state of telegraph--telegraph--competition. This is not just unhelpful; it's a waste of taxpayer funds. The American public expects and deserves an efficient Federal Government that keeps pace with changes in the market, and this bill helps get us there.

Rationalizing the industry reports the FCC issues not only reduces some of the FCC'S administrative burdens but also helps make sure that the agency, the public, and stakeholders have a realistic picture of the marketplace upon which to make their policy judgments.

The communications and technology sector is very competitive. It's very innovative. It's creating jobs, and it's one of the most open sectors of our economy. From fiber optics to 4G wireless service, from the smartphone to the tablet to the connected TV, this sector has been creating new services, new devices, and the high-quality jobs that come with high-tech innovation and investment.

Despite even a lackluster economy, wireline, wireless, and cable providers invested $66 billion of private capital in broadband infrastructure in 2011. The U.S. is leading in cutting-edge wireless technologies. Industry convergence has led to a boom in competition; voice, video, audio, and data providers are competing across different platforms. And the market is simply moving faster than the law. Despite the convergence of the industry, the FCC is still required by law to evaluate stove-piped industry segments each year. For example, they have to write two reports each year on the satellite industry and two reports on the cable industry, and yet it is one market and there should just be one report covering both.

The FCC Consolidated Reporting Act consolidates eight separate congressionally mandated reports on the communications industry into a single comprehensive report with a focus on competition among technology platforms, deploying communications to unserved communities, eliminating regulatory barriers, and empowering small businesses.

The marketplace report is synched to the congressional calendar. That'll improve our oversight abilities, and it'll help reduce costs. The bill also eliminates 12 additional outdated reports from the Communications Act, including reports repealed more than a decade ago. The bill is bipartisan, and it's supported by CTIA, NAB, NCTA, USTelecom, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and I urge my colleagues to join in this bipartisan piece of work out of your Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and pass it into law.

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