Oh, Kevy. You got some’splaining to do. The House Commerce Committee pulled back the curtain Wed, revealing a bit more about its investigation of the agency. Among the issues of interest are attempts to increase regulation for the cable industry. The probe focuses on allegations from current and former FCC employees and other sources, “which we have reason to believe are credible” and relate to management practices that may “adversely affect the Commission’s ability both to discharge effectively its statutory duties and to guard against waste, fraud, and abuse,” Committee leadership on both sides of the aisle said in a letter to FCC chmn Kevin Martin. Within 2 weeks, the FCC is asked to supply all communication since Jan ’05 on several fronts—including the reversal of an ’04 Media Bureau report that determined a la carte wasn’t a good idea. The Committee wants info on the why the decisions were discarded for a pro-a la carte report as well as “the decision to direct some FCC staff to prepare a Further Report on the same matter, the identity of those staff that did prepare the Further Report, and the decisions concerning peer review of the Further Report.” Said an FCC spokeswoman: “We look forward to continuing to cooperate with the committee.” The Committee’s also probing personnel reassignments. No specific names were mentioned, but tongues wagged after longtime Media Bureau staffer Bill Johnson retired in ’06 and Deputy Media Bureau chief Deborah Klein was moved to Public Safety and Homeland Security. Word was that Johnson, who had worked on media issues for the FCC since the ’60s, retired after being told he would be moved to Homeland Security. There has been other reshuffling of long-tenured staffers under Martin’s regime. The FCC was instructed to provide info on the rationale for reassignments and a list of new hires. The investigation, which is being headed by House Commerce chmn John Dingell (D-MI), also delves into the FCC’s analysis of the 70/70 test, which caused a ruckus last year when it omitted previously used data and only featured Warren data that supported that the 70% threshold had been met. The 70% benchmark would trigger a provision in the cable law that would give the FCC more regulatory oversight over cable. The FCC is asked to provide “any directive or instructions given to FCC employees concerning staff’s ability to discuss with any of the 4 Commissioners or their staffs the existence or substance of other data sources upon which analysis of the 70/70 test might have been made.” Commissioners rebelled against Martin’s attempt last Nov to enact the 70/70 rule, with Dem Jonathan Adelstein charging that data had been suppressed.

The Daily


At the Commission

The FCC adopted a NPRM seeking comment on how to maximize efficient use of the 500MHz of mid-band spectrum available in the 12.2-12.7GHz band. The hope of the proceeding is to further a conversation as to

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