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Upton and Walden Call on FCC to Postpone Vote on Rules for Incentive Auction

Jul 14, 2015
Following More Process Failures, Leaders Seek Additional Time for Public Review Ahead of Commission Vote

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler regarding the last-minute addition of significant data into the record ahead of the commission’s consideration of procedures for the upcoming spectrum incentive auction. Citing the break from commission precedent and the addition of such significant information into the record, full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) called on Wheeler to postpone consideration of the item to allow sufficient time for all parties to review and respond to the data. The committee leaders have long sought to improve FCC process and transparency.

Upon release of the letter, Upton and Walden commented, “Here we go again. Like a broken record, we have heard the FCC leadership pledge repeatedly to improve process while continuing to find new ways to keep the public in the dark. Had the commission heeded the advice of commenters and released these data weeks ago, we would be lauding the commission today for its commitment to debate and a complete record. But when the commission acts to withhold data until the eleventh hour, it is going out of its way to keep the public and relevant stakeholders — including the commissioners — out of the process."

“The incentive auction has the ability to significantly improve the mobile Internet economy and ensure that broadcasters are appropriately compensated for parting with this valuable resource. To preserve these goals, Chairman Wheeler should postpone the commission’s vote and allow for appropriate public input and subsequent Commission debate before moving forward. The public always wins with greater transparency.”

To read the letter, click here.

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