LA Times on FCC

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LA Times on FCC

LA Times article on Powell resigning. Not too VoIP focused but interesting nonetheless.


WASHINGTON — Michael K. Powell, the controversial head of the Federal Communications Commission who championed speedier Internet connections, tougher enforcement of broadcast indecency rules and greater consumer protection from telemarketers, announced today that he is leaving the agency in March.

Powell, a 41-year-old former Army officer and antitrust lawyer who was appointed chairman in 2001 by President Bush, sent a letter to Bush today indicating his intentions to leave.

Powell, who struggled during his tenure as chairman to loosen government restrictions on media and telephone companies, did not elaborate on his plans.

"Having completed a bold and aggressive agenda, it is time for me to pursue other opportunities and let someone else take the reins of the agency," Powell said in the statement.

"During my tenure, we worked to get the law right in order to stimulate innovative technology that puts more power in the hands of the American people, giving them greater choices that enrich their lives. Evidence of our success can be seen increasingly in the offices, the automobiles and the living rooms of the American consumer."

Washington has been whispering about Powell leaving the FCC since February 2003, when the soft-spoken but strong-willed official suffered an embarrassing defeat over telephone competition rules.

Last March he lost a 3-2 FCC vote on his bid to change telephone competition. Three months later, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia blocked the FCC from implementing media ownership rules that would have allowed a company or individual to own TV stations reaching 45% of the national audience, up from 35%.

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