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WASHINGTON – Today, the chairmen of the Senate and House commerce committees and communications subcommittees announced the beginning of a process to develop proposals to update the Communications Act.

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

“We appreciate congressional interest in updating the Communications Act, and welcome Congress' oversight in ensuring that our communications laws benefit consumers.

“We believe the current structure of the Communications Act, as revised over the years, provides a flexible framework for reaching the goals of competition, innovation and openness during a time of rapid technological change. The FCC's recent move to fix the classification mistakes of the Powell and Martin Commissions simply restores the legal structure established by Congress for our country’s communications networks.

“Our economic future depends upon getting all Americans connected to broadband, and that cannot happen unless the FCC acts fast. The 1996 Act took more than five years to enact, and the most recent attempt to rewrite the law produced no results. We cannot wait for Congress to act to protect consumers and carry out the National Broadband Plan.

"We hope that the public will have a seat at the table during this process, and that any draft legislation will put the needs of Main Street before the demands of Wall Street."


Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at

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