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Richard Wiley Quoted in Media Coverage of U.S. House Hearing on Telecom Act Rewrite

Communications Daily, Broadcasting & Cable
January 24, 2014

Wiley Rein Chairman Richard E. Wiley was quoted by Communications Daily and Broadcasting & Cable, from his testimony last week before a congressional panel whose members are preparing to update the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Mr. Wiley—the former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman who heads Wiley Rein’s preeminent Communications Practice—testified alongside three other former FCC chairmen at a January 15 hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

He noted that a “stunning technological metamorphosis” has emerged since the 1996 law was passed.  Asked about the regulatory classification of broadband Internet services, Mr. Wiley told lawmakers the FCC should not rush to reinstitute rules under Title II of the Communications Act.  The agency should instead see how the marketplace works and only step in if there is a market failure, he said. 

As reported by Broadcasting & Cable, Mr. Wiley said reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service would be the wrong move.  “It makes no sense” to regulate the Internet under Title II, he said.  “I personally think it would be a big mistake to wade into a common carrier regime,” he added, as quoted by Communications Daily.

On the subject of mergers and acquisitions, Communications Daily quoted Mr. Wiley as saying some “duplication” of work occasionally occurs when transactions are reviewed by both the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice.  “The two agencies need to work together, and I think they have worked together through the years,” Mr. Wiley told the subcommittee.