Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Silicon Valley Fears FCC Overhaul

The Trump administration rolls into power on Friday and is expected to undertake a complete shake-up of the Federal Communications Commission.

While the extent of reorganization of the agency is not yet known, it could very well change how Americans consume video entertainment and how much they pay for it.

For starters, President-elect Donald Trump is expected to take away from the FCC its oversight of competition and consumer interests, according to The NY Post.

Those duties could be shifted to the Federal Trade Commission, which already regulates many antitrust issues in Washington, according to the report.

Trump officials and transition team consultants met over the weekend to hammer out a new vision for the FCC, according to the report in the trade paper Multichannel News.

While cable and telecom companies argue they’ve invested in building the backbone of the Web, it is tech firms that have pocketed billions of dollars in profits off of mobile internet traffic.

Telecom and cable companies have been fighting to loosen rules governing how they charge for Web access.

The senior Republican on the FCC, Commissioner Ajit Pai, 44, is widely expected to be named chairman.

Trump officials and FCC transition team advisers want to make the communications regulator more in tune with the digital age.

Some in Washington are fearful that this could spell the end of the department in charge of regulating TV, radio and satellite and cable companies.

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