TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: The Front Lines - May 30, 2006

The Front Lines - May 30, 2006

Jonathan Marashlian (
Tue, 30 May 2006 11:50:02 -0400 The FRONT LINES

Sponsored by The Helein Law Group, P.C.

Advancing The Cause of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry


On May 26, 2006, the U.S. Senate confirmed Robert McDowell to be a
commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (=93FCC=94).
Mr. McDowell fills the fifth and final seat on the FCC, assuming the
remainder of an unexpired term that runs until June 30, 2009.
McDowell's confirmation as the third Republican commissioner gives
Chairman Kevin Martin a majorit of votes on the 5-person Commission
for the first time since Martin took office in March 2005.

In a statement, Chairman Martin applauded Mr. McDowell's confirmation:

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.

According to media reports, with McDowell now positioned as the third
Republican member of the agency, Chairman Martin can more aggressively
pursue plans that include pressuring cable companies to offer channels
ala carte and liberalizing media ownership rules. The FCC is also
grappling with a triumvirate of major issues affecting
telecommunications providers, including Universal Service reform,
inter-carrier compensation and deciding how to regulate IP-based

Unlike the broadcast and media issues, for which many news reports
already have Mr. McDowell supporting Chairman Martin's initiatives,
the same may not be said of matters concerning wireline Bell company
issues. Martin is considered more supportive of large incumbent Bell
companies while McDowell has sought an approach that supports the
competitive goals of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by balancing
the interests of smaller competitors along with those of the Bell

Mr. McDowell most recently served as CompTel's Senior Vice President
and Assistant General Counsel. CompTel is the leading association
representing small and mid-sized competitive telecommunications
enterprises. Aside from representing CompTel members before Congress,
the FCC and the appellate courts, McDowell is a veteran of several
Republican presidential campaigns most recently as a member of the
Bush-Cheney Florida Recount Team.

Prior to CompTel, Mr. McDowell served as Executive Vice President and
General Counsel for the America's Carriers Telecommunications
Association (ACTA). Mr. McDowell began his legal career at Arter &
Hadden and honed his skills as an advocate during the mid-to-late 90s
working as a Senior Attorney at The Helein Law Group.

On a personal note, all of us at The Helein Law Group would like to
congratulate Rob on his wonderful achievement and wish him and his
family all the very best.

The Front Lines is a free publication of The Helein Law Group, P.C.,
providing clients and interested parties with valuable information,
news, and updates regarding regulatory and legal developments
primarily impacting companies engaged in the competitive
telecommunications industry.

The Front Lines does not purport to offer legal advice nor does it
establish a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. If you have
questions about a particular article, general concerns, or wish to
seek legal counsel regarding a specific regulatory or legal matter
affecting your company, please contact our firm at 703-714-1313 or
visit our website:

The Helein Law Group, P.C.
8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 700
McLean, Virginia 22102

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