Former FCC Chief Kevin Martin to Keynote ITEXPO

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Former FCC Chief Kevin Martin to Keynote ITEXPO

kevin-martin.jpgFormer FCC Chief Kevin Martin will be a keynote speaker at ITEXPO taking place February 2-4th in Miami, Florida.

Some background on Kevin Martin. In a resignation statement on his philosophy at the FCC he stated it "has been to pursue deregulation while paying close attention to its impact on consumers and the particulars of a given market, to balance deregulation with consumer protection." Martin added that he "approached his decisions with a fundamental belief that a robust, competitive marketplace, not regulation, is ultimately the best protector of the public interest and the best method of delivering the benefits of choice, innovation and affordability to American consumers."

The statement also included what Martin accomplished during his tenure, including one promoting broadband, and specifically wireless broadband, and protecting consumers from harm, by issuing $150 million in fines, or more than any other chairman. On January 15, 2009 Kevin Martin announced his resignation when the Obama Administration took over. In his letter of resignation to President Bush, Martin wrote, “I have had the privilege of serving at the Federal Communications Commission for almost 8 years, including 4 years as the agency’s Chairman.  During this period, we have seen a telecommunications industry undergoing rapid and unprecedented change. As a result of the market-oriented and consumer focused policies we have pursued the American people are now reaping the rewards of convergence and the broadband revolution including new and more innovative technologies and services at ever-declining prices.” He also championed the use of the television “white spaces” spectrum handing consumers a victory.

Kevin Martin is not without controversy however. He drew criticism from industry interests and consumer groups. For instance, Martin angered telecommunications companies by forcing open network mandates on the winner of the 700MHz spectrum auction held in 2008. Additionally, TV broadcasters opposed the FCC's approval of the unlicensed use of the "white space" spectrum in TV signals, while Google, Microsoft, and others lauded the decision.

On the consumer side, Martin received criticism for opposing expanding network neutrality rules or even the need for network neutrality regulation.

As to what Kevin plans to speak on, I am told he will discuss cell base stations (femtocells) and how they are going to effect the market as well as possibly a discussion on the implications of LTE/4G. Regardless of what he discusses, this controversial figure is sure to be an interesting keynoter at ITEXPO.

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