American Cable Association ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka congratulated Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps for rendering outstanding public service at the regulatory agency over the past decade, a period of profound change in markets, technology, and competition.
"Within weeks, Commissioner Copps will be stepping down from his position at the FCC. While Commissioner Copps will be leaving government, the American Cable Association will always appreciate him. During his decade in office, Commissioner Copps achieved many great things," Polka said.
Copps, who joined the FCC in 2001, fought company mergers and relaxation of many media ownership rules, which he felt would reduce choice and competition in old as well as new media and information markets. He will leave the FCC on Jan. 1, 2012 unless a successor has been confirmed beforehand.
"Candid and conscientious, Commissioner Copps was a model public servant. His commitment to protect the public interest was total during an era of unprecedented consolidation by media corporations driven by financial gains more than serving the public," Polka added.
Copps, an historian who was chief of staff to Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) prior to his FCC service, told reporters that he planned to speak out on important communications issues as a private citizen in the years ahead.
"Commissioner Copps always asked the right questions, always demanded the facts wherever they may lead, and always sought the right results for the American people," Polka said. "His legacy of looking out for the little guy -- including independent cable operators, who are appreciative -- will endure for many years. Commissioner Copps leaves a record that should serve as a role model for future commissioners in search of courage, inspiration and resolve when the heat starts to rise in the p