Communications attorney Robert McDowell was unanimously confirmed Friday to serve on the Federal Communications Commission, giving Republicans their first numerical majority at the regulatory agency since last March.
McDowell’s confirmation comes as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Inc. continue to seek FCC approval of their $16.9 billion deal to buy Adelphia Communications Corp.’s 5 million subscribers.
The FCC was functioning with two Republicans and two Democrats, a situation that gave Democratic commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein considerable leverage over Republican chairman Kevin Martin’s agenda.
"Rob McDowell's confirmation today is great news for the FCC," said Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. "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."
Martin also cheered McDowell's confirmation. “ 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," the FCC chairman said Friday.