Senate Commerce Said to Plan Sept. 15 FCC Oversight Hearing

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The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold an oversight hearing for the Federal Communications Commission on Sept. 15, according to three telecommunications industry sources.


Four of the five commissioners will appear before the committee, all but Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, according to two of the sources. A Senate aide declined to comment on whether the hearing would take place.


It may be one of the last times current FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler appears before the Senate before the November elections, which will play a decisive role in how long he will remain at the commission.


The FCC still has a number of controversial initiatives on its agenda that the committee may want to discuss, including proposed rules to reshape how the business data services industry is regulated, a proposal to open up the cable box market to third party retailers while avoiding impinging on copyright holders’ rights, and proposed rules to dramatically reshape how much control consumers have over the data they share with their Internet service provider.


The committee may also want to hear from the commissioners on Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai’s inquiry into waste, fraud and abuse in the FCC’s Lifeline subsidy program, the impact of the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which ISPs continue to seek to overturn, and Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s reconfirmation, which has been held up for several months in the full Senate.