Upcoming F.C.C. Meeting Could Determine Chairman's Legacy

The channel has a lot riding on the results this Tuesday -- the results from the Federal Communications Commssion meeting, that is. No matter who wins the presidential election, it's pretty likely that current FCC Chairman will be moving on.

And that's what makes the FCC's Election Day meeting so significant. The future of open networks and more wireless broadband competition is up for discussion. Martin, a Republican who typically supported deregulation and has sided with large telecom business interests, has been a surprising proponent of a plan that would allow large tech players like Google to offer broadband services over a slice of spectrum whose use is still to be determined. He's also gotten strongly behind a proposal that requires the winning bidder of another spectrum auction next year to provide free wireless broadband. That would greatly benefit rural areas and the poor and spur competition and new applications development by channel partners

Also on the agenda is the fate of the proposed merger between WiMAX pioneer Clearwire and service provider Sprint Nextel. Approval could result in the launch of America's first commercially viable WiMAX wireless network. It's not clear what Martin's legacy as FCC chairman is going to be, but Tuesday's meeting could resolve that issue. 


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