The U.S. Senate last month confirmed FCC nominees Deborah Tate and Michael Copps, restoring a 2-2 party split between Republicans and Democrats on the commission.

Tate, a Republican Tennessee regulator, will complete the term of former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, who resigned in March. Her term will expire in 2007. Copps, a Democratic commissioner who would have been forced to leave the FCC next year without this action, was confirmed to serve a second term that will expire in 2010.

The confirmations leave the FCC with one open slot, left by Republican Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy's departure last month. Abernathy's term on the commission ended last year, but federal rules allowed her to continue serving until Congress adjourned in December.