So I’m working on a paper on cable franchising and was reading the FCC’s latest proposed rulemaking on the topic (PDF). In it they claim the authority to preempt local franchise regulations that are barriers to entry. They FCC finds authority to do this in Section 621(a)(1) of the Communications Act, which states that local authorities “may not unreasonably refuse to award an additional competitive franchise.” So far so good.
I get to the last item in their “authority” section and there they ask, “Finally, we seek comment on possible sources of Commission authority, other than Section 621(a)(1), to address problems caused by the local franchising process. For example … could the Commission take action to address franchise-related concerns pursuant to Section 706?” So I ask myself, what’s Section 706? Imagine my surprise when I turned to that section and found, “SEC. 706. [47 U.S.C. 606] WAR EMERGENCY–POWERS OF PRESIDENT.” The section goes on to say that in time of war the president can commandeer the airwaves and other communications facilities, etc.
This has got to be a typo. Right?