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Summary of Pai Remarks Before the FCBA

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Released: February 21, 2013



On February 21, 2013, Commissioner Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications
Commission delivered remarks before a luncheon of the Federal Communications Bar
Association. During his address, he emphasized the importance of the Commission being as
nimble as the industry it oversees so that regulatory inertia does not impede technological
progress or deter innovation. He then offered a number of proposals for improving the FCC’s
internal procedures and allowing the Commission to act more efficiently.
Summary of Proposals
Commission Action
 Handle applications for review by instituting something similar to the U.S. Supreme
Court’s certiorari process.
o If no Commissioner requests consideration of an application for review within 90
days, then the Bureau’s decision would be automatically affirmed.
 Expand the categories of small transactions that qualify for streamlined treatment,
including mergers of geographically adjacent rural carriers.
 Circulate draft order addressing forbearance petitions at least four weeks before the one-
year statutory deadline and require a vote of the full Commission to extend that one-year
 Set internal deadlines.
o Codify in the Commission’s rules the 180-day shot-clock for transactional review.
o Institute a nine-month deadline for acting on petitions for reconsideration and
applications for review.
o Establish a six-month deadline for acting on waiver requests.
 Create an FCC Dashboard on the Commission’s website to track the FCC’s performance
on key metrics like waiver requests, license renewal applications, and consumer
Congressional Action
 Consolidate the Commission’s reporting obligations to Congress.
 Prohibit the Commission from adopting new rules based on Notices of Proposed
Rulemaking that are more than three years old.
 Modify the Sunshine Act to allow for more collaborative and efficient Commission
 Modernize statutory provisions addressing application fees.

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