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Powell ‘Unsure’ About LPFM

Powell 'Unsure' About LPFM

After being an FCC commissioner for three years, new chairman Republican Michael Powell feels comfortable handling a variety of telecommunications issues, and says he will wait for matters to come to him for decisions, rather than seeking out more issues to regulate.
Speaking to reporters as chairman for the first time this week, Powell laid out general goals, such as restructuring the agency, to better reflect the convergence of markets.
While Powell did not get into specifics about his plans he shared his thoughts on a variety of issues:
LPFM – Powell still supports a gradual phasing in of the new service, as he said a year ago when he voted for it. He believes language passed by Congress last fall directing the agency to conduct interference tests and an economic impact study resolves some of his concerns.
After listening to engineers debate the results of four LPFM interference studies conducted last year, Powell said, he was still unsure if the service would cause interference to existing stations.
The Internet – The ‘net will prove to be just a “cool experiment” if the product providers don’t just give consumers cool products, but also find a way to make a profit, said Powell.
DTV transition – When asked what the FCC might do to help the DTV transition, Powell said, “Whether DTV succeeds or fails does not rest in the hands of the government,” but in the hands of TV programmers and set makers. Consumer acceptance of DTV, he said, still remains a “wild card.”