FCC Inches Toward ReformComments Off on FCC Inches Toward Reform
After the designated entity program was used to secure $3 billion in discounts during the AWS-3 auction, the FCC is gradually moving forward with rule changes to prevent big companies from using the discount program that is intended for small businesses. Reuters reported, “Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday circulated a so-called ‘public notice’ to the rest of the commissioners, seeking further comments on specific proposals for how to reform a bidding discount program that has recently come under fire.” The potential problems with the rules came to light after two partners of Dish Network received $3 billion in discounts. The Commission is now reviewing those entities’ legal and financial independence from Dish to confirm the discount. The FCC is expected to begin accepting petitions from the public to reject Dish partners’ auction applications as part of the regular review process. The FCC has faced an outcry from Dish’s competitors and Republican commissioners who say the rules create unfair loopholes. Wheeler told the U.S. Senate last week that he intends to fix the program’s rules to ensure designated entity status isn’t used as a cover for big companies who don’t qualify for discounts.
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