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US: Tech Groups tell VP-elect Pence what they want in the FCC and FTC

 |  November 30, 2016

The high-tech association heads representing what they say is a trillion-dollar economic driver have outlined what they are looking for in the next FCC and FTC chair and commissioners, which includes understanding sector as well as the limits authority, and exercising some ‘regulatory humility.”

That came in a letter to VP-elect and Trump transition team leader Mike Pence.

They said that “to ensure our government works, we must have people in place with the competencies to get the job done.”

Here was the job description under the FCC hearing: “We urge that nominees for FCC Commissioner seats understand and appreciate the vital role of competition in the communications sector, the limits of FCC authority across areas of responsibility, and the need for establishing a data-driven evidence base in advance of setting ex ante policies. Nominees should also have knowledge of the communications industry landscape and the role it plays in realizing inter-connected smart communications technologies, as well as an understanding of future technological developments relying on a robust communications infrastructure.”

They also had some advice for the next Federal Trade Commission leadership.

“To be effective, the FTC must balance the protection of consumer interests with the need to encourage innovation and competition in our dynamic economy,” they told Pence. “[T]his requires a special emphasis on comprehensive cost-benefit analyses, the establishment of clear evidence bases before making decisions regarding competition and consumer harm, and practicing ‘regulatory humility.’”

They even had something of a specific job description for commissioners:

“Maintain and increase technological competency among staff who are increasingly faced with complex products in dynamic markets; and – Recruit personnel to the Office of Policy and Planning who possess an understanding of technology markets to continue the FTC’s important policy advocacy and research efforts focused on understanding the complex issues behind the dynamism of 21st Century markets.”

Signing on to the letter were the heads of 1776, ACT |The App Association, Allied For Startups, BSA | The Software Alliance, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Engine, Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Internet Association, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), Silicon Valley Leadership Group, TechNet, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and the Technology CEO Council.

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