Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

FCC Chief Vows Efficiency

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

FCC Chief Vows Efficiency

Article excerpt

As the nation shifts from phone jacks to wireless calls and from copper telephone wires to fiber optic cables, one might assume there's been a boom in information and communications technology jobs.

To the contrary, figures released by the Department of Labor early this month show fewer jobs in the information sector today than at any point since November 1989.

Since 2009, approximately 165,000 of the nation's telecommunications jobs have been cut and employment in manufacturing of communications equipment has plummeted by more than 42 percent since the government began tracking the figures.

When newly appointed Federal Communications Commission commissioner Ajit Pai set out on a mission to identify obstacles facing the industry, it wasn't long before he found many were constructed within his own agency.

"As the pace of change in the industry accelerates, the costs and lost opportunities associated with delays at the FCC grow over time," he said.

Mr. Pai, who has held positions in all three branches of government and served as an attorney for Verizon Communications before his May appointment, announced the agency's plans to remove unnecessary barriers and improve agency efficiency during a speech to industry professionals Wednesday at Carnegie Mellon University. The event was organized by the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

He said the agency, which is known for taking its time when reviewing technologies and services for approval, must stand by its own deadlines and should codify certain rules, particularly a rule requiring the commission to review applications for major transactions within 180 days.

He called for the creation of an Office of Entrepreneurial Innovation, which would ensure the agency makes a decision on applications within a year of submission, as the current Communications Act requires. He also said the new office should be able to decide within 60 days of an application's submission if the idea is credible enough to be considered for approval. …

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