FCC commissioner Copps to resign

copps

Michael Copps, a longtime commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission, said Dec. 6 that he would resign from his position Jan. 1 — or sooner, should Congress appoint his successor.

“It has been a privilege and honor to serve for more than 10 years as a commissioner,” Copps said in a statement. “The FCC is an agency of true excellence, and its decisions are integral to our country’s future. Ubiquitous, opportunity-creating broadband and a resource-rich media capable of informing our civic dialogue are critically important components of our future success as a people, and I intend to keep speaking about these challenges as a private citizen in the years ahead.”

Copps, a Democrat, has served on the commission since 2001 and temporarily oversaw the department in early 2009 following the swearing-in of President Barack Obama. That position lasted until June 2009, when current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was sworn in. Copps was sworn in for a second term as a commissioner in 2006.

Copps had a history of asking for strong conditions on merger and acquisitions across the mobile industry, including more intense roaming conditions on Verizon Wireless’ acquisition of Alltel Communications and a spectrum limits connected with Sprint’s acquisition of Nextel.

The FCC is currently in the middle of several important issues that could impact the future of the mobile space, including plans to free up hundreds of megahertz of new spectrum; AT&T’s attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA as well as 700 MHz spectrum from Qualcomm; and more recently proposed spectrum deals involving Verizon Wireless.

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