Who's a Grinch? Not FCC
- By Bryant Jordan
- Dec 25, 2000
Michael Powell's speech
Commissioner Michael Powell, widely viewed as the Federal Communications
Commission's next chairman, is a man for all seasons.
A one-time armored cavalry officer and Pentagon policy adviser, Powell,
a lawyer, has worked in private practice, in the Justice Department and,
since 1997, as an FCC commissioner.
In speeches across the country, he has quoted Aristotle, Shakespeare and
But in recent remarks in Washington, D.C., Powell drew on Dr. Seuss to drive
home a point about technological change.
He noted that telecommunications companies sometimes view the FCC as "the
Grinch" because changes spurred by the 1996 Telecommunications Act did not
automatically translate into "colorfully clad presents" for the "Who-companies."
But, he said, don't blame poor implementation of the law. Instead, he said,
blame dramatic technological changes that the regulatory system cannot handle — yet.
And in closing, Powell told the Progress & Freedom Foundation.
"So it's time to awaken from our dreams with a pinch
Though I might quibble with Whos down in Whoville that think we're the
"But to those who do, I would sing with full range
That we can, will and must adapt to this change!
"Leaving the past will cause pain we all feel
But it's change that even the FCC cannot stem, stall or steal!
"We need to rapidly join in this technology migration
Then we can all bask in the glow of a very thankful nation.
"So packing our bags and catching up with the times
Is a perfect jumping off point for ending this rhyme."