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Tauke Praises Departing NTIA Head

According to an e-mail from Verizon Executive VP, public affairs, policy and communications, Tom Tauke, National Telecommunications & Information Administration administrator Michael Gallagher resigned Tuesday, effective early next year.

Gallagher's official title was assistant secretary, communications and administration, for the Department of Commerce.

No mention was made of his departure on the NTIA Web site, but in a statement, Tauke said Gallagher, who has been in the post since November 2004, had served the American public well, adding that “Mike Gallagher is a creative and effective executive who brought fresh ideas to the development of the nation's telecommunications policy.

"He orchestrated the development of spectrum policies that will bring wireless broadband services to millions of consumers and pushed hard for government policies that encourage investment in wireline broadband networks and services," said Tauke, former Republican representative from Iowa.

NTIA, unlike the FCC, is an arm of the White House and is charged with advising the administration on telecom policy and overseeing defense and other government communications spectrum.

The FCC commissioners, on the other hand, cast votes independent of White House wishes and primarily oversee commercial uses of the airwaves, such as TV and phone service.

At one time, Gallagher was in the running to succeed Powell as FCC chairman. Republican Commissioner Kevin Martin got that post instead, and Tennessee utility regulator Deobrah Tate got Powell's open Republican seat.

But the White House still has the seat of Kathleen Abernathy to fill, with a candidate expected to be nominated soon.

Gallagher was also on some lists to replace Robert Sachs as head of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, a job that ultimately went to Kyle McSlarrow.