August 29, 2013
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on July 31, 2013
H.R. 2844 would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prepare a biennial report for the Congress that assesses certain characteristics of the communications industry. The report would analyze the state of competition in the markets for voice, video, and data services, as well as the availability of high-speed and high-quality telecommunications services. Further, the bill would require the FCC to determine whether laws and regulations pose a barrier to entry into communications markets and to include that information in the biennial report. H.R. 2844 also would relieve the FCC of requirements to prepare certain other reports on topics ranging from access to satellite services to prices for cable services. In all, the bill would eliminate more than 20 reports and notices, some that remain in current law even though deadlines for their completion have passed.
Based on information from the FCC, CBO estimates that implementing the provisions of H.R. 2844 would not have a significant net effect on the agency’s discretionary costs. Any additional expenses the FCC would incur to prepare the new assessment of the communications industry would be offset by a reduction in costs that would otherwise be incurred for reports that would be eliminated under the bill. Under current law, the FCC is authorized to collect fees sufficient to offset the cost of its regulatory activities each year; therefore, CBO estimates that the net cost to implement the provisions of H.R. 2844 would be negligible, assuming annual appropriation actions consistent with the agency’s authorities. Enacting H.R. 2844 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 2844 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.