FCC nominee Robert McDowell, a CompTel executive, told members of the Senate Commerce Committee that he would "commit to promoting competition in all markets," encourage private-sector solutions and remove barriers to entry if confirmed to the commission.
"All Americans should be able to take part in the digital revolution," whether from cities or rural areas; he said his father grew up on a farm near the Texas-Mexico border in an area that had no electricity. It was common, he said, for his dad to disconnect the car battery and bring it into the house and so they could power a radio.
McDowell, by contrast, lives in Northern Virginia on what's left of the farmland he grew up on. The 16-year telephony advocate assured committee members it had been several years since he had had to represent telephony companies before the FCC and that he could remain impartial on such issues.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who supports the nomination, said consideration of media ownership limits is the most important issue facing the agency, which would get a full complement of five commissioners if McDowell is confirmed.
Commerce Committee Chairman Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said he'll try to get McDowell's nomination on the committee's agenda for a vote next week.
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