CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 734, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2015, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on February 4, 2015 by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
H.R. 734 amends Title I of the Communications Act of 1934 by directing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to publish on its website and submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce a report on the state of the communications marketplace biennially by consolidating eight separate reports into one single report. Each biennial report must assess: 1) the state of competition in the communications marketplace, including competition to deliver voice, video, audio, and data services among telecommunications providers, mobile service providers, broadcast stations, satellite providers, internet service providers, and other communications service providers; 2) the deployment of communications capabilities, including whether advanced telecommunications capabilities are being deployed to Americans in a timely fashion; and 3) whether laws, regulations, or regulatory practices pose a barrier to competitive entry or expansion of current providers of communications services. The biennial report is additionally required to describe the agenda of the FCC for the next 2-year period for addressing the challenges and opportunities in the communications market; and describe the action that the Commission has taken in pursuit of the agenda.
Furthermore, the FCC is directed to compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications capability. The FCC is permitted to use available data to draw comparisons between the U.S. and the international communications marketplace. In addition, the Commission is directed to consider market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communications marketplace. Finally, this legislation repeals and consolidates twelve FCC reports that previously were authorized under the Communications Act of 1934.
H.R. 734 is similar to H.R. 2844, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2013, which passed in the House on September 9, 2013 by a vote of 415-0. (See Roll Call #449). H.R. 734 differs in that it contains one additional consideration in section 13(d) that was adopted as part of the STELA Reauthorizations Act of 2014. In addition to the four criteria that were part of its predecessors, H.R. 734 contains the additional criterion that the Commission must report on the aggregate average total amount paid by cable systems for retransmission consent.
A CBO estimate for identical legislation passed in the 113th Congress estimates that implementing the bill would not have a significant net effect on the agency’s discretionary costs. Enactment would not affect direct spending or revenues.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.