Last updated: July 10, 2008 - 8:22am
Unlike his predecessor, Michael Powell, a Republican who had pushed for stronger indecency rules and free markets, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Martin has not shown a strong ideological bent. He has pushed to change cable television pricing, which angered business leaders and party members. He sided with Democratic lawmakers to pry open wireless airwaves to more companies. He's revived debate on Internet rules that service providers and key Republican lawmakers called a solution looking for a problem (Network Neutrality). In the remaining months of his tenure -- it is expected that the next president will appoint a new chairman -- support for Martin has waned. He is now at the center of a congressional oversight investigation into his leadership, which some officials inside the FCC describe as secretive and autocratic. Yet for all the ripples he's caused with his aggressive push for changes in the cable industry, critics say he has overlooked the nation's biggest priorities including universal, affordable broadband.
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