WASHINGTON Dec 7 Two Republican U.S. Federal
Communications Commissioners say the Trump administration should
reverse many significant policies set by the telecommunications
and cable regulatory body under Democratic President Barack
FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly said at an event at the
National Press Club in Washington that the FCC under President
Donald Trump needs to "undo the more harmful policies adopted by
the current commission. ... The policy direction chosen in these
instances was wrongheaded, harmful to consumers and the
industry, costly, and ultimately unworthy of continuation."
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said he hoped the commission would
eliminate many regulations, propose fewer new actions and seek
guidance from Congress before taking many actions. He said the
commission should take a "weed whacker" to unneeded rules.
O'Rielly said the FCC should not have sought to micromanage
the internet economy in recent years and should reconsider the
decision to largely leave intact rules barring cross-ownership
In August, the FCC voted 3-2 to retain nearly all rules
limiting cross-ownership of newspapers, radio and TV stations in
the same market, a blow to struggling newspaper companies that
have long pushed for the agency to relax restrictions.
O'Rielly criticized the FCC's decision in October to impose
stricter privacy rules on internet service providers than those
imposed on websites like Facebook, Alphabet Inc's
Google or Twitter Inc.
"Next year's commission should consider acting quickly to
reverse any damaging policies put into place over the last eight
years and in the last few weeks of this administration,"
O'Rielly said, urging the next FCC to halt action on some
The commission is currently controlled by the Democrats,
including FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, by a 3-2 margin. But
Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel will be forced to
leave the FCC if she is not reconfirmed by the end of the month.
Trump, a Republican, has not yet named a new chairman.
One controversial decision made by the FCC under Wheeler was
the 2015 order to reclassify broadband internet service under a
section of communications law that treats them more like public
utilities and subjects them to stricter rules as part of the
FCC's "net neutrality" rules. Those rules bar broadband
providers from giving or selling access to speedy internet,
essentially a "fast lane" on the information superhighway, to
certain internet services over others.
Last month, under pressure from Congress, Wheeler dropped
plans to push through a proposed reform of the $45 billion
business data services market.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)