Pare Down or Dismantle the FCC: Trump Advisors Debate

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We’re learning more about how the members of President-elect Donald Trump’s advisors view the FCC. Commission team leader Jeffrey Eisenach, who’s also a candidate to become the next chairman, thinks the agency needs to be dismantled. His colleague, former Sprint lobbyist Mark Jamison, believes the Commission needs to have its role diminished.Most of the original motivations for having an FCC have gone away,” he wrote in an October blog post, reports Techdirt.

Jamison doesn’t believe telecom monopolies are an issue, writing: “A well-functioning Federal Trade Commission, in conjunction with state authorities, can handle consumer protection and anticompetitive conduct issues.” 

Even the FCC itself is trying to weed out unnecessary rules, however Jamison is proposing to eliminate the agency altogether. “What would we do without an FCC? Any legitimate universal service concerns could be handled by others: States can subsidize network access as they see fit, the Department of Health and Human Services can incorporate telecommunications and internet into its assistance to low-income households, and the FTC and states can handle consumer protection and ex post regulation,” he wrote.

Roslyn Layton has been added to the FCC transition team, Inside Towers reported. Like  Eisenach and Jamison, Layton is a visiting fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute and shares similar telecom regulation views.

Swiss global financial services firm UBS sent a note to investors with predictions about how a Trump administration may change the telecom landscape, reports Android Headlines. UBS thinks the FCC and FTC will be more lenient in regulating the wireless sector, noting that both Commissioner Ajit Pai, who Inside Towers has reported will likely be named interim chairman, and Eisenach have both advocated for paring down the Commission’s jurisdiction.      

December 2, 2016

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