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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB003 (2009)

ARLB003 FCC Chairman Kevin Martin Announces Resignation

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 3  ARLB003
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 16, 2009
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB003 FCC Chairman Kevin Martin Announces Resignation

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin announced he will resign from the FCC on
Tuesday, January 20. The Aspen Institute, a non-partisan think-tank,
announced today that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will join their group
as a Senior Fellow in the Communications and Society Program on
Tuesday, January 20, immediately upon his departure from the FCC.
According to the Institute, Martin will be the fourth consecutive
FCC Chairman to make the move to the group: Democrats Reed Hundt
(1993-97) and William Kennard (1997-2001), as well as Republican
Michael Powell (2001-05) have accepted fellowships with the
Institute upon leaving the FCC.  Julius Genachowski is expected to
succeed Martin at the FCC.

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said that Martin's
resignation is part of the "usual stuff we see when a new
administration comes to office. We look forward to a positive
relationship with the new Chairman and his administration."

In his letter of resignation to President Bush, Martin wrote, "I
have had the privilege of serving at the Federal Communications
Commission for almost eight years, including four 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

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 said 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

Martin said that during his tenure at the FCC, "the Commission has
focused on establishing the appropriate regulatory environment that
achieves the right balance between two competing interests: To
encourage investment in communications infrastructure, and to make
sure consumers and innovation are not unintentionally or
intentionally disadvantaged by the owners of that infrastructure."

Martin was a strong advocate of BPL technology, as was his
predecessor, Michael Powell, but the limited number of BPL
deployments show that BPL is not the success story it was hoped to
be. "The technical problems of trying to get BPL to run reliably on
wires that were never intended to carry high-speed digital signals
make BPL less reliable than other technologies," said ARRL
Laboratory Manager and BPL expert Ed Hare, W1RFI. "When coupled with
poor rules that encouraged interference problems, BPL was given a
poor start that it has never completely overcome."

The ARRL has never been opposed to BPL per se, except when the
technology causes harmful interference to the Amateur Radio Service.
Under his chairmanship, Martin said 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 [while at the same time, I] 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."

Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's Communications and
Society Program Charles Firestone said that "Chairman Martin has
been a longtime participant in Aspen Institute forums. We look
forward to working with him and to the advice he will give us."
Martin said he, too, looks forward to his time with the Institute:
"I have long enjoyed and respected the Communications and Society
Program, and I will relish the opportunity to reflect on the nature
of leadership that I exercised in this field for the past several
years." According to their Web site, The Aspen Institute is based in
Washington, DC, Colorado and Maryland.


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