FCC Commissioner O'Reilly Speaks On Media Ownership
January 28, 2014
The FCC's newest Commissioner, Michael O'Reilly, spoke before the Hudson Institute on Monday, where he stated that the FCC already is behind on its quadrennial ownership rules review. O'Reilly reinforced that media ownership is an area where the FCC really needs to take action, because the media landscape changes so rapidly.
"Section 202(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 mandates that the Commission review its media ownership rules every four years—or quadrennially— to determine whether they are still necessary due to competition. If they are not, we must modify or eliminate rules that are no longer in the public interest," he explained. "We have failed to comply with this Congressional directive. Specifically, the Commission hasn't released the 2010 order and is arguably behind on its 2014 review... Let's face it, the media landscape has changed dramatically. We no longer live in a world where Americans obtain information solely from local broadcasters and newspapers. We have satellite providers, cable networks, the Internet, and mobile platforms. I am open to thoughtfully updating the Commission's rules to reflect the realities of today's media marketplace."
In his speech O'Reilly touched on several other topics, including his views on how the Commission should approach regulation; the transition of voice communication from analog POTS (or "plain old telephone service") to digital Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); and updating Universal Service programs.
"Championing economic freedom will be my guiding principle when it comes to overseeing the communications industry," O'Reilly said.