Powell Bids Farewell to VOIP Legacy
Outgoing FCC chairman Michael Powell calls on industry members to make their voices heard and lauds the advancement of voice-over-IP technology and regulation.SAN JOSE, Calif.Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell delivered his swan song at the Voice over Net trade show here on Tuesday by encouraging industry to continue to make its collective voice heard. Powells eight-year tenure at the FCC will end later this month, and the speech here represented his last public talk in an industry he helped champion. Attendees here said they respected Powell, appointed as the commissions chairman by a conservative President Bush in 2001, for the line he walked between letting the free market guide policy and stepping in to protect consumers. In addition to the indecency fines Powell levied against broadcasters, he was also known for his "four freedoms," which he said should guide regulatory policy: the ability to freely access legal content, the freedom to access any application, the freedom to attach personal devices to the network, and the freedom to receive a detailed description of service-plan information. All four freedoms coalesced within VOIP (voice over IP).
"My nearly eight years at the FCC is coming to a close, but I can think of no place other than VON to deliver my swan song," Powell said. "VOIP is so clearly the standard for what I fought so hard to achieve."