In an October speech, Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell acknowledged the agency's gap in expertise. He he said he and the other commissioners "don't have engineering degrees--we're liberal arts majors," he said while encouraging private sector collaboration to add to the agency's knowledge.
"Given the rapid advancement of technologies and innovation within the telecommunications industry, it is essential that commissioners have in-house technical expertise to make well-informed regulatory decisions," Snowe said.
Warner said: "Easing restrictions on the number of experts a commissioner can hire will provide the FCC with more tools and information it needs to make decisions. This will give commissioners access to the best information possible, from all relevant disciplines, in a timely manner--which is critical in making well-informed decisions."