Kevin Martin Stands Firm Against Criticism
January 11, 2008 at 10:50 AM (PT)
FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN stood his ground against two separate attacks on the Commission's credibility. He offered no protest against a House demand that it save all electronic records of its work and cited its efforts to accelerate minority access to the industry.
WIRELESSWEEK reports that MARTIN defended his management and procedural practices, despite complaints from the House Energy and Commerce committee that it's rulemaking has been rushed and arbitrary. Agreeing with critics that FCC work should be transparent and open, he told reporters, "The practices at the Commission I run are very similar to how the commission has been managed under previous Republican and Democratic commissioners and chairmen."
The practices at the Commission I run are very similar to how the commission has been managed under previous Republican and Democratic commissioners and chairmen
The FCC is currently being investigated by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman JOHN DINGELL (D-MI), an JOE BARTON (R-TX); MARTIN expressed no qualms about retaining all records for examination.
Progress For Minorities
Meanwhile, in a speech he'll give to the RAINBOW PUSH COALITION at the annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit, MARTIN will cite "significant progress" in helping to close the "digital divide" for minorities, reports RADIOWORLD. "The commission has acted to remove regulatory barriers to broadband deployment, and the result has been a significant increase in the number of Americans subscribing to broadband at the same time that the price for broadband services has declined," he will say. "This has resulted in a significant closing of the digital divide. For instance, in March of 2005, when I became chairman, Pew [research] found that only 14% of African-Americans subscribed to broadband. Today 40% have a broadband Internet connection at home, an increase of 31% since March of 2006 and an increase of 186% since March of 2005."
MARTIN will also assert that the FCC is working to expand opportunities for entry for minorities, thanks to LPFMs and leased access channels, among other actions. "I believe we are making great progress, but there is much yet to be done," he'll conclude.
Next Open Meeting Set
The FCC has slated its next Open Meeting for next THURSDAY (JANUARY 17th), at which it will hear presentations from its bureau chiefs about implementations of the Commission's strategic plan and will review policies and procedures.
Media Bureau Chief MONICA DESAI is scheduled to appear on the meeting's second panel.