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Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 02/10/2011

Walden sets House Commerce committee tech priorities on net neutrality, spectrum, broadband

By Hayley Tsukayama

In a breakfast speech on Wednesday at the Ripon Society, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, outlined his top priorities for this congressional session.

According to a press release from the Ripon society, Walden said he is concerned that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped its boundaries in issuing its recent net neutrality ruling.

“Look, whether you’re for it or against it,” he said, “I don’t believe the FCC had the authority to do it." He added that he thinks the Commission often oversteps its boundaries and needs to be reformed. He said they will be offering a resolution of disapproval and holding hearings on "this issue and others."

Walden said he will consider other commissions as well, and would like to take a close look at the broadband provisions in the stimulus package relating to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utility Service.

Turning to spectrum, Walden said that he believes the D block of the spectrum should be auctioned off to the public, not reserved for public safety. Spectrums, Walden said, are a public commodity and a good way to raise money for the Treasury, though he did say that the public safety sector has needs to be addressed as well.

Walden said that there is bipartisan agreement that the Universal Service Fund is "broken" and that he looks forward to working with the FCC to get the program "back on sound fiscal footing."

Check out Walden's remarks, from the Ripon Society's YouTube channel, below. His remarks on communication policy start around the 3:55 mark:

By Hayley Tsukayama  | February 10, 2011; 10:59 AM ET
Categories:  Broadband, FCC, Spectrum  
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