Rural Broadband, Restoring FCC to 5 Members Top Walden's Agenda

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House Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) outlined a broad agenda for the committee and its Communications Subcommittee Feb 14, with items ranging from legislative action on Title II to a comprehensive examination of Federal Communications Commission and National Telecommunications and Information Administration "reauthorization" to accelerated rural broadband deployment to increased oversight of federal cybersecurity initiatives.

At the monthly luncheon of the Media Institute, Chairman Walden endorsed the "process reforms" that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (who was in the audience) has already introduced. Chairman Walden complimented Pai for successfully doing administratively "what Congress has been trying to do legislatively." As for the Open Internet rules, the Chairman Walden said, "Republicans are open to legislative solutions" and that net-neutrality decisions "should be done legislatively." But he acknowledged "it will take time" to develop new procedures, saying, "We have draft legislation" in the works. Chairman Walden called deployment of rural broadband a top priority on the Committee's communications agenda, pulling in examples of the need for wireless broadband. In particular, he emphasized the need to "lower the cost of broadband development."

Rural Broadband, Restoring FCC to 5 Members Top Walden's Agenda Walden Shies Away from Big Communications Act Overhaul (BNA)