Obama names Copps acting FCC chairman

President Barack Obama named Democratic FCC commissioner Michael Copps the acting chair of the commission until a new chairman is confirmed.

Copps has been an opponent of consolidation in the telecom industry, has championed media diversity and generally supports a more stringent regulatory policy with clear oversight and safeguards for consumer protection. Reports have indicated that Obama will nominate Julius Genachoswki to be the new FCC chairman. A former Harvard Law School classmate of Obama's, Genachowski, played a key role in shaping Obama's technology policy during the presidential campaign, especially in formulating Obama's stances on net-neutrality and expanded broadband access.

There are currently only three commissioners at the FCC, following the resignation of former chairman Kevin Martin and commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate. If Genachoswki is not confirmed soon, Copps will serve as acting chairman as the FCC grapples with a probable delay in the DTV transition and the related fallout for 700 MHz spectrum owners. Copps began his first FCC term in 2001 and was sworn in for a second five-year term in 2006. 

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