FCC Steps Back from Pivotal Votes on Free Broadband, IBOC Digital Carrier Boost

        Radio on FacebookJoin us on Facebook

Feeling the heat generated by irate telecom firms, new congressional committee leadership, and a scathing congressional report on his agency oversight, FCC Chair Kevin Martin decided last week to indefinitely postpone a scheduled agenda vote that included creation of free national broadband services and an IBOC digital radio power boost -- both issues of keen interest to broadcasters.

The decision to cancel the scheduled Dec. 18 meeting came after Martin's office received a letter co-authored by Sen. John D. Rockefeller and Rep. John Waxman, both Democrats headed for key chairmanships in their respective bodies of Congress.

Their message urged Martin to table the vote until the new administration had an opportunity to review complex and controversial issues on the agenda.

But Democrats were not alone in red-flagging the vote. Bush Administration officials reportedly asked the commission to forestall their decision on free broadband as wireless providers AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint complained that such a move would damage their ability to build out their respective 3G/4G networks.

How a new, democratically led FCC will deal with the proposed HD digital power increase as well as other hot-button issues such as broadcast music performance royalties and localism isn't yet clear. But Waxman's appointment in particular is seen as a sign that a tougher regulatory environment awaits broadcasters.

On the issue of universal wireless broadband, reports suggest that the incoming Obama administration and democratically controlled congress appear to favor an even more sweeping approach than the one on which the Commission was to vote, perhaps as part of a broad new national infrastructure spending initiative.

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Today in Radio History

Milestones From Radio's Past

The history of radio broadcasting extends beyond the work of a few famous inventors.

EAS Information More on EAS

NWS XML/Atom Feed for CAP Messages

The feed provides feeds for all US states and territories.

Wallpaper Calendar

Radio 2014 Calendar Wallpaper

Need a calendar for your computer desktop? Use one of ours.

The Wire

A virtual press conference

Information from manufacturers and associations about industry news, products, technology and business announcements.

Join Us Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
Radio magazine cover

Current Issue

National Public Radio

Building For The Future

Browse Back Issues

[an error occurred while processing this directive]