From the Associated Press

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Fri Jan 21 09:04:15 CST 2005

Jan 21, 9:46 AM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael 
Powell plans to resign Friday, FCC officials confirmed, ending what's 
often been a controversial tenure as he tried to push the telecom and 
media industries into an increasingly deregulated world that some 
lawmakers, companies and consumer groups didn't like.

The news, first reported on The Wall Street Journal's editorial page 
Friday, was something of a surprise coming just one day after President 
Bush's inauguration and with some very hefty issues yet to be dealt with 
by the FCC. Those issues include how to treat burgeoning Internet phone 
services as well as how to overhaul the Universal Service Fund, a 
federal subsidy program under financial pressure. The Wall Street 
Journal is published by Dow Jones & Co. (DJ 
<>) (DJ), publisher 
of the newswire used for this report.

Rumors have circulated for months that Powell, who has been on the FCC 
since President Clinton appointed him as a commissioner seven years ago, 
would step down. Recent conventional wisdom had him leaving in the 
spring after at least some of these issues were dealt with.

The FCC is a five-member commission, with a majority representing the 
party of the president, in this case, Republicans. Possible successors 
discussed have included current Republican Commissioner Kevin Martin.

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