Monday, December 12, 2005

FCC Nomination Hearings Go Smoothly for Copps and Tate

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held nomination hearings for Michael Copps and Deborah Tate to serve as FCC Commissioners. Both hearing went smoothly, and Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) now expects the full Senate to approve the nominations by the end of the year. Key issues raised by the Senators at the hearings included the Universal Service Fund (USF), the indecency issue, and rules governing media concentration. Both Copps and Tate expressed support for the USF.

Michael Copps, a Democrat, has served as FCC Commissioner since January 2001. Before that, he served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Basic Industries.

Deborah Taylor Tate, of Tennessee, would hold the remainder of the term held by former FCC Chair Michael Powell, who resigned earlier this year. This term expires June 30, 2007. Tate, who is a Republican, currently serves on the Tennessee Regulatory Authority and FCC's Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services.

A webcast of the hearings is available online.