Martin to Step Down from FCC

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Martin to Step Down from FCC

Jan 15, 2009 10:00 AM

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Washington - Jan 15, 2009 - FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin announced his resignation from the Federal Communications Commission, effective Jan. 20, 2009. Martin said he leaves the office with great pride in the FCC's accomplishments and with deep gratitude for having had an opportunity to serve the American public.

Chairman Martin stated that his philosophy during his tenure at the FCC "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." He stated 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."

An FCC press release says that during Martin's tenure at the FCC, the commission has focused on establishing the appropriate regulatory environment that achieves the right balance between two competing interests: (1) to encourage investment in communications infrastructure and (2) to make sure consumers and innovation are not unintentionally or intentionally disadvantaged by the owners of that infrastructure. The release went on to say that under Chairman Martin, the commission acted to level the playing field so that all entrants could fairly compete, facilitating increased investment in the next generation of communications infrastructure. At the same time Chairman Martin was able to push for more open platforms to spur innovation on the edges of these networks and deliver lower prices, improved services and greater choice to consumers.

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."

Martin's next stop will be to serve as a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC.

The FCC press release also included several pages of information noting Martin's accomplishments with the FCC. While there have been some high points, Martin was also investigated for abuses of power while he held that office. It's also interesting to note that last week at the Consumer Electronics Show, Martin said that he expected President-elect Obama to appoint a new chairman, but Martin said that there was a chance he could stay on the Commission as a commissioner.