Television

FCC's Abernathy to quit next month

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MUMBAI: America's telecom and media regulatory body, Federal Comunications Commission (FCC) commissioner, Kathleen Abernathy, will leave the organisation next month.

She said, "I sent a letter to President Bush thanking him for the profound privilege and honor of serving on the Federal Communications Commission and informing him of my intention to leave the Commission on December 9, 2005."

"During my four and a half year year tenure the Commission has achieved a great deal. First and foremost, our decisions increasingly reflect the wisdom of relying on competition, rather than regulation, as the best means of assuring that consumers get the telecommunications services they want at affordable rates," she added.

"Our largely market-driven approach to advanced services has helped create a vibrant market for new wired and wireless telecommunications products, and our spectrum reform initiatives have improved our ability to put this scarce resource to its most effective use. And, I am particularly pleased that as Chair of the ITUs 2004 Global Symposium for Regulators, I was able to share our competition-based philosophy with regulators from other countries."

She adds that what is implicit in the Commissions competition-oriented approach to telecommunications regulation is a recognition of the fact that competition is a journey. "It is a journey in which there are winners and losers, change and upheaval, and no clear destination where all things are settled and all competitors are satisfied. Our effort to create greater regulatory symmetry between cable and telephone company providers of advanced high-speed broadband networks is, but one example of that process."

"The Commissions decisions have also embodied the understanding that competitive markets depend on empowered consumers. Where consumers have choices, and the ability to make them, pervasive regulation is unnecessary. In line with this realization, we targetted regulation to those comparatively few situations in which marketplace competition and informed consumer choice do not increase consumer welfare. For that reason, we have taken steps to make sure that emergency communications work reliably for us and for those who protect us, and we have provided parents with the information and tools needed to control their childrens multichannel TV viewing choices."

She says that the FCC's successes and failures, demonstrate one fundamental truth - that regulation is most effective when it deals with markets as they are -- not as they might once have been, and not as we would ideally like them to be. To the extent the Commissions decisions on difficult issues in the days to come are based on this principle, it will continue to advance the security and well-being of America and its people.

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