Under Trump’s Shadow, FCC Backs Off

November 17th, 2016 by · Leave a Comment

The FCC’s planned votes this week on special access and set top boxes have been canceled, along with several other items. In light of the election win for Donald Trump, Republicans were pressuring FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler not to proceed, and they got what they wanted.

Congressional republicans had asked the FCC to do the same as was done eight years ago, and not take action on votes with a partisan bite. Wheeler’s plan to reform the business data services segment, which included caps on ILEC special access fees, will no longer get its vote on Thursday. And the proposal to overhaul the rules for set-top boxes has also been removed from the agenda as well. The first is clearly a win for incumbent operators like AT&T and Verizon, while the second will surely please the big cable operators such as Comcast.

But this is merely what *won’t* happen. Will the pendulum simply and predictably shift back toward the traditional incumbent players and away from the influence of Silicon Valley that one might expect from just any Republican victory? Or will Trump’s populist streak show through somehow? We will just have to wait to see what the FCC’s actual stance on the issues is after Trump’s transition into the White House.

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Categories: Cable · Government Regulations · ILECs, PTTs

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