Summary

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to consolidate the reporting obligations of the Federal Communications Commission in order to improve congressional oversight and reduce reporting burdens. Read More

Status

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on May 30, 2012 but was never passed by the Senate.

Bill Text

A BILL

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to consolidate the reporting obligations of the Federal Communications Commission in order to improve congressional oversight and reduce reporting burdens.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2011''.

SEC. 2. COMMUNICATIONS MARKETPLACE REPORT.

Title I of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 13. COMMUNICATIONS MARKETPLACE REPORT.

``(a) In General.--In the last quarter of every even-numbered year, the Commission shall publish on its Web site and submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the state of the communications marketplace. ``(b) Contents.--Each report required by subsection (a) shall-- ``(1) assess the state of competition in the communications marketplace, including competition to deliver voice, video, and data services among providers of telecommunications, providers of commercial mobile service (as defined in section 332), multichannel video programming distributors (as defined in section 602), broadcast stations, providers of satellite communications, Internet service providers, and other providers of communications services; ``(2) assess the state of deployment of communications capabilities, including advanced telecommunications capability (as defined in section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 1302)), regardless of the technology used for such deployment, including...

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Organizations Supporting

MARCH 6, 2012 CTIA Statement After the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Mark-Up of the FCC Process Reform Act and FCC Consolidated Reporting Act In response to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee mark-up of the FCC Process Reform Act (H.R. 3309) and the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act (H.R. 3310), I issued this statement: “On behalf of the wireless industry, we commend Chairman Upton and Subcommittee Chairman Walden for today’s successful mark-up of these two important bills. “We also want to thank Congressman Pompeo for his amendment to the FCC Process Reform Act, which was approved today. The Pompeo amendment directs the FCC to disaggregate complaints alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act from other wireless complaints, as we have asked the Commission to do. Lumping TCPA violations, which have nothing at all to do with wireless carriers, in with other complaints only serves to artificially and unfairly inflate the number of complaints and mask the fact that wireless complaints are declining relative to subscribership. In the FCC’s recent report on the fourth quarter of 2011, the wireless complaint rate was equal to just two-thousandths of one percent. This fix is long overdue. “Finally, we want to congratulate Congressman Scalise on passage of the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act. Moving away from siloed reports and toward a comprehensive report will result in a more complete assessment of the communications marketplace, including the impact of edge services and applications that influence competition and investment by network providers. Additionally, enactment of H.R. 3310 will reduce the regulatory burden imposed on the industry, a goal CTIA fully supports.” http://blog.ctia.org/2012/03/06/ctia-statement-after-the-u-s-house-energy-and-commerce-committee-mark-up-of-the-fcc-process-reform-act-and-fcc-consolidated-reporting-act/

Organizations Opposing

November 29, 2011 Dear Representative: Consumers Union, the public policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports®, is opposed to H.R.3309, the “Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2011” and H.R.3310, the “Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2011.” One of the most important jobs of the FCC is to help protect consumers, and while some reform may be necessary, unfortunately, we believe these bills could make it more difficult for the FCC to protect consumers from anti-consumer and anti-competitive actions. H.R.3309 provides some positive measures to improve the FCC’s decision-making process. For example, we agree the FCC should publish proposed rules in Notices of Proposed Rulemakings so that parties can sufficiently consider and provide commentary on the actual proposed rules. Additionally, we agree that parties should have a minimum period to comment and reply in the FCC’s rulemakings. Finally, we agree that a bipartisan, majority of Commissioners should have the ability to have nonpublic collaborative discussions, subject to certain conditions. However, we believe the majority of H.R.3309 would actually do more harm than good for a number of reasons, including the following: The bill would require the FCC to adopt rules as long as they do not impose an additional burden on the industry. This requirement could be impracticable since it would prevent the FCC from fulfilling its Congressional mandate to further the public interest. The bill would require the FCC to adopt rules if it is able to prove, among other things, actual consumer harm. However, this requirement would remove the FCC’s ability to make predictive judgments about probable consumer harm based on sound facts and evidence. Thus, consumers would have to be harmed first before the FCC could adopt any consumer protections. The bill would require the FCC to adopt rules if it considers costs and alternative forms of regulations. However, this requirement is much too broad since the FCC, as the expert agency, should have the discretion to adopt rules that are necessary to deter anti-consumer actions. The bill limits the FCC’s ability to consider the public interest and protect consumers when considering mergers. Similarly, while consolidating some reporting requirements may make sense, we believe the majority of H.R.3310 would do more harm than good for a number of reasons, including the following: 1. The bill removes the FCC’s obligation to report on the average monthly price of basic cable service for cable systems the FCC has found subject to competition vs. cable systems that operate as monopolies. Consequently, consumers and other interested parties would no longer have access to this valuable information in a concise and comprehensive manner. 2. The bill removes the requirement that the FCC make public when it grants a waiver of the condition of employment that a Commissioner or an employee must not have a financial stake in the industries the FCC is charged with overseeing. This requirement would limit transparency in the decision-making process. Consumers Union fears H.R.3309 and H.R.3310 would make it harder for the FCC to protect consumers and promote the public interest and ultimately would do more harm than good. We urge you to oppose this legislation during the House Commerce Committee mark-up on November 30. http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_telecom_and_utilities/018272.html

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Bill Summary

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to consolidate the reporting obligations of the Federal Communications Commission in order to improve congressional oversight and reduce reporting burdens.

H.R. 3309 Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012 H.R. 3311 America’s Cup Act of 2011