Investigators Say Communications Laws Are Outdated, But They Don’t Know How To Change Them

The Government Accountability Office punted today in a report that attempted to assess what, if anything, FCC commissioners and other officials should do to make the video market more competitive. Although “federal laws and regulations may in some ways be outdated,” Congress’ investigative arm adds that “it is not yet clear how they should be updated to reflect 21st century technologies and market conditions.” The one semi-concrete recommendation? Reports on cable industry prices and video competition that Congress ordered the FCC to generate “may not be needed on an annual basis, especially given demand on FCC staff’s time for other monitoring and regulatory duties.” That’s a strange conclusion: The GAO notes that the average monthly cost for expanded basic pay TV was $57.46 in 2011, up 33% from 2005 even though the Consumer Price Index was up just 15%. (more…)

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