Martin Side Stepped Forced FCC Exit

Posted on March 12, 2008 - 7:25am.

from: Broadband Reports

Martin Side Stepped Forced FCC Exit
As the cable industry faces potential lose-lose FCC situation
05:20PM Tuesday Mar 11 2008 by Karl

FCC boss Kevin Martin has recently been accused of making the cable industry his personal whipping boy. Some of that is legitimate criticism, given he frequently hammers the cable industry for things the phone companies are also doing (note his attack on cable astroturfing while ignoring similar tactics by the phone industry). But some decisions are (his a la carte, indecency pushes in particular) Martin's attempt to appeal to "family values" groups with one eye on a post-FCC North Carolina political career.

On top of making a serious enemy of the cable industry, Martin has been under fire for the way he handles business in general, from his tendency to rush votes, to the agency's problem with leaking valuable information to the phone industry. Multichannel News has an interesting report on how he recently managed to side-step a Democratic effort to force him out of office at the end of this year, and USAToday has more on Martin's battle with cable, rehashing his planned net neutrality decision which will only impact you-know-who.

Interestingly, it's the cable industry that could face a lose-lose situation with the next Presidential election. If the Democrats win, they'll likely appoint current Commissioner Michael Copps to head the Commission. He's consistently taken a much tougher position for network neutrality. If McCain wins, he could keep Martin in place as boss until 2011, and McCain has held a la carte programming as an on-again, off again pet issue for several years.

( categories: FCC )