The Federal Communications Commission hosted a Consumer Advisory Committee meeting on Friday, June 12, 2015. The mission of the Committee is to make recommendations to the Commission regarding consumer issues within the jurisdiction of the Commission and to facilitate the participation of consumers in proceedings before the Commission.
The duties of the Committee include providing guidance to the Commission, gathering data and information, and performing those analyses necessary to respond to the questions or matters before it. The Committee consists of experts in a variety of fields such as technology and consumer education.
The meeting began with remarks from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. In his words, it was “terribly fitting and totally unplanned” that the meeting took place on the first day that the FCC’s Open Internet Rules went into effect. He said that the new rules ensure that broadband is “fast, fair and open.” Chairman Wheeler then asserted that the actions of the FCC “are not to micromanage,” but to ’throw the flag.’ He stated that FCC’s two responsibilities of encouraging investment and protecting consumers and innovation “can and will co-exist.”
The Committee first addressed a number of procedural and administrative matters related to its functions. Members discussed the development of a proposed Open Internet enhanced transparency rule disclosure format. Briefings from the Commission and outside speakers were presented to the Committee before it broke into private working groups in the afternoon. Each working group is assigned a different topic on which to focus their efforts. These topics include broadband, consumers, and privacy, among others.
A limited amount of time was given to address questions from the public. While majority of the meeting was open to the public, it was very poorly attended with approximately less than ten non-Committee members present.
Click here to watch the entirety of the Consumer Advisory Committee meeting.