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Radio News: Trump advisor would all but eliminate the FCC

Nov 23, 2016 10:55 pm
While there has been a bit of media scrutiny about Jeffrey Eisenach, the head of the President-elect's telecom transition team, the other person named to the Federal Communications Commission transition team for Donald Trump is Mark Jamison. Brian Fung in The Washington Post reported this week that last month he proposed all but abolishing the FCC's role as a consumer protection watchdog. "Most of the original motivations for having an FCC have gone away," Jamison, who leads the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida, wrote. "Telecommunications network providers and ISPs are rarely, if ever, monopolies." Under current chairman Tom Wheeler, the agency has proposed record-setting fines against companies for slowing down "unlimited" data plans and for illegally billing consumers. Jamison said Wheeler has allowed politics to, "infiltrate the FCC a lot more than is necessary." Jamison has argued that the FCC could be replaced by a much smaller agency that just hands out licenses for the airwaves for cellphone calls, mobile data, and TV signals. The Post notes that both Jamison and Eisenach are part of the American Enterprise Institute, an elite conservative think-tank. "I think both Jeff and Mark envision a significantly pared-down agency," said Hal Singer, an economist at the George Washington University's Institute for Public Policy. "In their minds, proponents of regulation must demonstrate a market failure… This is a 180-degree turn from Wheeler's FCC, which began with a presumption that markets failed."