Friday, November 17, 2006
FCC Chair Reconfirmed
This just in, thanks to Washington DC telecom analyst Blair Levin and his colleagues at Stifel Nicolaus:
The Senate reconfirmed FCC Chairman Kevin Martin last night.
I wrote my previous piece urging Congress not to reconfirm Martin without knowing how quickly it could happen. I was expecting it to be something the 110th Congress would take up next year.
I've been corresponding with another Washington DC insider, Harold Feld, who sees a more merit in Martin's reconfirmation than I do. He points out, correctly, that Martin has been a strong advocate of innovation, especially in the form of telco competition, in the video entertainment field. And surely the FCC decision favoring Continental vs Logan Airport, where the FCC slapped down landlords who prohibit their tenants from installing their own Wi-Fi hotspots, would not have been taken if Martin had fought it. And, Harold points out, Martin is "the devil we know" (my own paraphrase).
It is a little known fact that the FCC is an agency of the Legislative Branch, not the Executive. Congress is the FCC's boss. So it is my hope -- and expectation -- that Congress will offer the FCC closer guidance in the next two years than it has offered in the last six!
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