Making the FCC Transparent Again

Since the 2016 elections, we have been looking at the people who will have the greatest impact on telecommunications and media policy in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission. This week, we got a glimpse -- just a glimpse -- at changes we’ll be seeing in how the FCC operates. On February 2, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a pilot program aimed at improving how the agency communicates with the public. He is hoping, he says, that the move starts to make FCC operations more transparent and as open and accessible as possible. Currently the FCC announces the items it will vote on at its monthly meetings about three weeks in advance of the event. However, the text of the items have not been made public until after commissioners have voted. Historically, some policy analysts say, this was to ensure that the FCC's five members could work better together, allowing them to strike policy compromises without being forced by outsiders to adopt extreme political positions. But although the secrecy may have once helped commissioners broker agreements, the FCC has grown deeply divided in recent years.


Making the FCC Transparent Again