Now that President Bush has named FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin as head of the agency, industry groups are responding with praise and approval.
Walter B. McCormick, Jr., president and CEO of the United States Telecom Association, said he applauds Martin’s selection. “At a time of dramatic change for the communications industry, Kevin Martin’s insightful leadership and depth of experience will be critical at the helm of the FCC,” McCormick said in a statement. “Commissioner Martin understands how dramatically global communications have changed and how crucial it is that we update U.S. policies to keep pace with modern advances in order to encourage market-based competition among companies investing in a wide array of technologies and to safeguard vital social objectives.”
The Telecommunications Industry Association expressed similar sentiments.
“Throughout his nearly four-year term, Commissioner Martin has proved that he understands technology and how its rapid deployment provides the foundation for economic growth in the 21st century,” said Matthew J. Flanigan, TIA president. “Chairman Martin has aggressively pursued the ‘light hand’ of regulation during his tenure at the commission and has been diligent in removing regulatory barriers to investment. Such deregulation continues to be needed to promote investment and innovation in the communications technology sector.”
Matt Polka, president and CEO of the American Cable Association said his organization appreciates the time Martin has taken to understand issues pertinent to independent cable operators. “Commissioner Martin is well qualified and able to lead the FCC into the next exciting and expanding chapters of telecommunications development and deployment,” Polka noted in a statement.
Meanwhile, CompTel/ALTS leaders said they welcome new leadership at the FCC. “We remain hopeful that the commission will promote pro-competitive policies that enable our member companies to provide consumers and small businesses with innovative broadband services,” said chairman J. Sherman Henderson III. “We are particularly gratified that the White House has chosen the best possible candidate for this important position. Commissioner Martin has distinguished himself over the last four years by demonstrating a courageous commitment to intellectual honesty.”
H. Russell Frisby Jr., whose last day with CompTel/ALTS is March 18, said Martin has “earned a reputation as a thoughtful, fair and open-minded individual, and he has always been willing to listen to all perspectives of an issue to reach the right conclusion.”
The head of Technology Marketing Corp. and the Internet Telephony Conference & Expo also gave Martin his endorsement. “From his past work, it is clear that Chairman Martin is not afraid to be controversial if he believes he is right; he is the ideal leader for this industry at a time when we are at a crossroads in communications technology, media ownership, digital television, as well as a host of other issues such as WiMAX proliferation and competition,” said President Rich Tehrani.
Finally, the Alliance for Public Technology said it appreciates Martin’s familiarity with issues that affect citizens on a daily basis. Dan Phythyon, the organization’s public policy director, said APT looks forward to working with Martin “so that every American can benefit from advanced telecommunications technologies.”