The U.S. Senate officially confirmed Robert McDowell for the third Republican seat at the Federal Communications Commission late last Friday. McDowell has the position until at least 2009. His confirmation saw a handful of setbacks over the past few months, with a "hold" placed on his nomination. However, the issue was resolved early this month.
McDowell was previously RSVP/Assistant General Counsel at lobbying group Comptel, which is involved in telephone carrier competition. He also worked on President Bush's Presidential campaign in 2000.
Of McDowell's confirmation, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) said in a statement, "Rob McDowell's confirmation today is great news for the FCC. Rob's expertise and experience will be an asset to the commission as it tackles a variety of critical communications issues in the future. The FCC will be required to implement portions of our communications bill, and it is essential it has a full complement of commissioners."
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said, "I congratulate Rob McDowell on his confirmation as Commissioner at the FCC. He has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the communications arena, and we will rely on his insight. I am anxious to have him onboard and look forward to working with a full complement of Commissioners to address the important issues before us."
Added Commissioner Michael Copps, "Robert will bring a wealth of experience and valuable perspective to the Commission and I am looking forward to working with him on the many important communications challenges confronting our nation. The Commission is intended to function at a full complement of five members and I look forward to working with my four colleagues to devise creative solutions for bringing the wonders of the digital era to all of our citizens." And Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein added, "Rob has a great deal of experience in the field of telecommunications that should be of significant value to all of us at the Commission. I have enjoyed working with him in the past and look forward to collaborating with Rob and all of my colleagues on the many important communications issues that the Commission will face in the times ahead."
NAB President/CEO David Rehr added his congratulations as well, saying in a statement, "His background and extensive knowledge of communications issues will serve Mr. McDowell well in his new position. NAB looks forward to working with him, Chairman Martin and the other commissioners as the FCC addresses broadcast related issues pending at the Commission."
With McDowell's addition to the FCC, the commission is expected to tackle a number of issues in the coming months, including media ownership rules.