Treasury offers FCC help on rereg

The understaffed Federal Communications Commission has gotten an offer of assistance to help carry out the 1992 Cable Act from the U.S. Dept. of Treasury.

Interim FCC chairman James Quello said Monday that Treasury’s public debt department has offered the temporary services of about a dozen employees.

Treasury’s assistance is welcome, but it will only make a small dent in the critical manpower shortage at the FCC, Quello said.

The shortage of workers at the FCC prompted Quello to postpone from June 15 until Oct. 1 implementation of rules that are expected to result in a rollback of cable rates as much as 15% nationwide. The postponement prompted catcalls from key members in Congress, who later passed a resolution urging the FCC to move up the rate regulation date to Sept. 1.

Quello said Monday he is “leaning toward” accepting the Sept. 1 date, but that no final decision has been made.

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