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Powell Dodges Radio Issues

Powell Dodges Radio Issues

FCC Chairman Michael Powell managed to avoid answering directly questions from CEA head Gary Shapiro about radio in a panel discussion at CES. Noting that the satellite radio companies and their receiver partners are beginning to debut radios that store and record audio, Shapiro asked Powell whether the FCC would ban those capabilities, as groups that favor content protection want.
Powell said, “These are difficult and complicated issues.”
He added the information age is “heavily dependent on the free flow of information.”
When pressed further, Powell said, “Welcome to the hell of the FCC. There’s no shortage of people wanting to get us to save them or hobble their competitors.”
Powell dodged a question about the FCC’s timeframe on terrestrial digital radio decisions.
But he was consistent with his previous position on the regulation of content when asked about the possibility of extending indecency laws to satellite radio. “I’m not going to say restrict content.” He predicted there would be no “dramatic extension” of the indecency rule “to level the playing field” between terrestrial and satellite radio.

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