Michael K. Powell

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Michael K. Powell (born March 23, 1963) is an politician and a Republican. He was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission by President Bill Clinton on November 3, 1997. President George W. Bush designated him chairman of the commission on January 22, 2001. Powell is the son of former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Powell was an armored cavalry officer in the United States Army, but was unable to serve after sustaining an injury during a training mission, for which he spent a year in the hospital. He also served as an advisor to the Secretary of Defense.

After graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center, Powell worked as a private attorney as well as in the antitrust division of the justice department.

As the chairman of the FCC, Powell has led from his long-stated philosophy of less government regulation of telecom. Powell sees excessive regulation as stifling to technology innovation, and has led the charge to open up markets in VoIP, Wi-Fi, and Broadband over Powerline (BPL). A relatively young member of the FCC, Powell is seen as having a unique grasp of new technology and the issues of regulation in a changing communications environment. While the FCC has recently stepped up efforts to enforce pre-existing indecency rules in wake of the Janet Jackson 2004 Super Bowl incident, Powell himself has been careful to distance himself from those wishing to strongly regulate content. Powell has spoken publicly about the differences between the commission members' stances on indecency, underscoring the sensitivity of the issue during 2004's Jackson hysteria.

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