Senate Hearing -- Assessing the Communications Marketplace: A View from the FCC

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing

Assessing the Communications Marketplace: A View from the FCC

Thursday, February 1, 2007 10:00 AM

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See these recent Headlines about the hearing:

[SOURCE:, AUTHOR: Tim Doyle]
On February 1, Federal Communications Commissioners will face the Senate Commerce Committee -- and probably questions about why the Commission's Republican majority voted to override certain state and local laws that govern applications by AT&T and Verizon to sell TV service and to require local governments to act on those applications within three months. Whether the new FCC rule will stand up to legal and political challenges remains to be seen. Lawsuits from towns loom. Newly powerful Democrats don't like what they consider an infringement on their own power. Moreover, 10 states have established their own fast-track processes for TV applications and don't like the FCC meddling either. "The only certainty in the FCC action is that this gives AT&T and Verizon more leverage in negotiating with cities," says Stifel Nicolaus analyst Blair Levin. "From there, it is very unclear on how it proceeds. There are a lot of variables: cable companies, the legalities." Like many FCC decisions, the matter may drag on for years in courts.

[SOURCE: Washington Post, AUTHOR: Charles Babington]
As congressional Democrats prepare to give the Federal Communications Commission its toughest scrutiny in years, a rivalry between the powerful agency's two most prominent Republicans is raising questions about its readiness to handle barbed questions and stiff challenges. The Republican-controlled FCC has sparred infrequently with Republican-controlled congresses. But the Democratic-run 110th Congress is about to heat up the grill, starting with a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on Thursday. FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, a Republican with close ties to the Bush administration, will be the focus of Democrats' criticisms. But some industry analysts think those lawmakers may try to find an ally in Commissioner Robert M. McDowell, another young Republican loyalist with a reputation for intelligence and political ambition. The two have clashed on at least three significant issues in the past several months, creating what some see as a rift that could be ripe for exploitation.
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* Hot Seat Awaits Martin
[SOURCE: Multichannel News, AUTHOR: Ted Hearn]