Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document Attachment

FCC-14-113A4

image01-00.jpg612x792

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER MICHAEL O’RIELLY

APPROVING IN PART AND CONCURRING IN PART

Re: Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All

Americans in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion, and Possible Steps to Accelerate Such

Deployment Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as Amended by the

Broadband Data Improvement Act, GN Docket No. 14-126.

I approve the initiation of this inquiry, which is required by section 706(b) of the

Telecommunications Act of 1996. While I appreciate the opportunity to vote on an item that ostensibly

complies with the statute, I am troubled that the Commission failed to meet its statutory obligation to

complete the 2012 inquiry within 180 days after its initiation. The Commission simply has no authority

or excuse for skipping deadlines imposed by Congress. Hopefully, we have put that disturbing practice

behind us for purposes of this inquiry requirement going forward.

I am also concerned that, with each inquiry, the Commission invents new analyses, contorting

itself in an effort to justify a finding that broadband is not being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable

and timely fashion so that it can regulate broadband service. If you believe (and I have made clear that I

do not believe that section 706 provides any authority whatsoever) that the Commission has independent

regulatory authority under section 706(a), then there is no need for these analytical acrobatics in

conducting the report under section 706(b). We should perform an honest and straightforward assessment

of “whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable

and timely fashion,” which does not mean whether “each person in every household across America can

simultaneously stream video while using Skype during peak hours on weeknights.” After all, the term

“reasonable” has to carry at least some weight since it is actually in the statute. In the end, many of the

questions posed appear designed to achieve an already predetermined outcome that is both unnecessary

and dubious.

I am also troubled by the expansion of this inquiry into areas that are outside the expertise of the

agency and may conflict with responsibilities of other federal agencies, as provided by Congress. In

particular, the Commission’s newfound interest in privacy and security by broadband providers are issues

already subject oversight and enforcement by other federal agencies, including the Federal Trade

Commission. I am concerned that this line of inquiry ultimately could result in the FCC creating

duplicative and potentially conflicting burdens on broadband providers, leading to cost increases for

consumers. Hopefully, we will get a robust record of submissions in this proceeding highlighting the full

range of requirements that broadband providers are already subject to and how those existing structures

operate.

Therefore, I must concur on the inquiry itself.

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, , or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.