COMMISSIONER AJIT PAIRe:
Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program, WC Docket No. 11-10.
It's fair to say that the FCC collects a lot of data and issues a lot of reports. According to the
White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, for example, the Commission collects
information in 424 distinct ways from members of the public.1 We release a host of reports on different
aspects of the communications marketplace, some each year as mandated by Congress2 and others more
Today we start consolidating some of the disparate collections that underlie those reports in a way
that--we hope--reduces the burden on telephone and broadband service providers while at the same time
providing the information that Congress and the Commission need to make well-informed policy
decisions. I am pleased that my colleagues accepted several of my suggestions to streamline this
collection, such as by making clear that multi-state providers need only file once to report their data,
rather than filing a separate form for each state. We also direct the Bureaus to develop software to reduce
the cost of filing, for those providers that volunteer to use it. More generally, I appreciate Chairwoman
Clyburn for crafting a consensus, leaving contentious issues like the collection of broadband pricing
information for another day.
That takes care of input. What about output, namely, the reports we release? We'll rely on the
data we collect here for five separate reports: the Broadband Deployment Report, the Internet Access
Services Report, the Local Telephone Competition Report, the Wireless Competition Report, and the
International Broadband Data Report. I'd like to consolidate all these reports, but our congressional
reporting requirements stem from a halcyon time when each silo of the communications industry was an
easily defined marketplace unto itself. That's why I support efforts in Congress to pass the Federal
Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act. This legislation would give the FCC the
freedom to extend the reforms we adopt today, eliminating outdated obligations and refining our work in
a way that makes sense for us, for Congress, and for consumers.
Finally, this order has been two years in the making, and I would be remiss if I didn't thank Kirk
Burgee, Ellen Burton, Jean Ann Collins, Bill Dever, Lisa Gelb, Chelsea Fallon, Nese Guendelsberger,
Diane Griffin Holland, Michael Janson, Melissa Kirkel, Doug Klein, Travis Litman, Ken Lynch, Marcus
Maher, Ruth Milkman, Steve Rosenberg, Paroma Sanyal, Jim Schlichting, Mitali Shah, Carol Simpson,
Susan Singer, Jamie Susskind, Julie Veach, and Rodger Woock for their contributions. And I believe
now is an appropriate time to recognize the analysts, the economists, the number crunchers, and the data
1 See Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Inventory of Currently Approved Information Collections for
the Federal Communications Commission, http://www.reginfo.gov" title="www.reginfo.gov">www.reginfo.gov (last visited June 26, 2013).
2 FCC Report to Congress as Required by the ORBIT Act, Fourteenth Report, FCC 13-80 (June 7, 2013) (Statement
of Commissioner Pai) (noting that the Open-Market Reorganization for the Betterment of International
Telecommunications Act "requires the Commission to annually update Congress on the agency's progress in
implementing the Act, even though that statute's goal . . . has long since been achieved"), available at
3 GAO, Report to the Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission on the Video Marketplace:
Competition Is Evolving, and Government Reporting Should Be Reevaluated, GAO-13-576 (June 2013) (noting that
the Commission has failed to publish required reports on the cable industry eight times in the last decade, and
recommending that the Commission consider whether it would make sense to issue such reports less frequently and
transmit its analysis to Congress), available at http://go.usa.gov/bM4m.
wizards of the Industry Analysis and Technology Division. You turn the vast information we collect into
products useful for policymakers, an often unsung task but one worthy of great thanks.
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