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Free Press Congratulates Michael Powell

WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association announced that Michael Powell, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, would take over as its president following the departure of Kyle McSlarrow.

Free Press Managing Director Craig Aaron made the following statement:

"If you wonder why common sense, public interest policies never see the light of day in Washington, look no further than the furiously spinning revolving door between industry and the FCC.

"Former Chairman Michael Powell is the natural choice to lead the nation's most powerful cable lobby, having looked out for the interests of companies like Comcast and Time Warner during his tenure at the Commission and having already served as a figurehead for the industry front group Broadband for America.

"During his time as a public servant, Chairman Powell once dismissed the notion of a digital divide as no different from the Mercedes divide that afflicted him -- after all, he said, not everyone who wants a Mercedes can have one.

"Thanks in no small part to the policies he pursued at the FCC and to the cable lobby's unyielding fight against any real competition in the broadband market, the digital divide is still with us. But today we can finally say, at least in Michael Powell's case, that the Mercedes divide is closing."

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