TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Post-Powell Depression

Post-Powell Depression

Jack Decker ((no email))
Wed, 26 Jan 2005 14:19:22 -0500

Post-Powell Depression
David M. Ewalt, 01.21.05, 2:00 PM ET

NEW YORK - Pop stars with malfunctioning wardrobes and Howard Stern
are probably already rejoicing at today's news that Federal
Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell will step down in

But among investors and vendors of emerging technologies such as IP
telephony, expect a very different reaction--and concern about the

"This is going to leave a huge hole," says Burton Group analyst David
Passmore. "I think he's done a lot to move the country forwards to new
technologies and how they change the game."

While his most public battles have been over issues of decency and
censorship, Powell has also become a strong advocate for emerging
technologies, particularly internet telephony, or voice-over-Internet
Protocol. During the last year, Powell helped push through a number of
landmark FCC rulings that defined VoIP as a new kind of information
service, protecting it from the taxes and regulations applied to
traditional phone services.

"The chairman has done the voice over IP industry wonders," says Jeff
Pulver, chief executive of Free World Dialup, a VoIP service provider
which in February was the subject of one of Powell's salutary FCC
rulings. "He certainly set the tone, the pace and the direction for
how to address IP communications."

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