FCC Chairman Michael Powell played cheerleader to the telecommunications industry during his keynote interview Tuesday at Supercomm 2004, promising to keep a light hand on regulations to stimulate investment in IP service provider networks.FCC Chairman Michael Powell played cheerleader to the telecommunications industry during his keynote interview Tuesday at\u00a0Supercomm 2004, promising to keep a light hand on regulations to stimulate investment in IP service provider networks.Powell said he expected 2005, not 2004, to be the year when telecommunications fully recovers from the past three years of hard times. "I wouldn't say the industry is out of the woods," Powell said, " but we can see a pasture at the end of the tree line."Powell was interviewed by Matthew Flanagan, president of the Telecom Industry Association, which runs Supercomm.\u00a0He said that consumer awareness of IP services make it clear that service providers must embrace packet networks. "It's not debatable any more if your company is going to have to become IP enabled to survive," he said.Powell said he was pleased that President George W. Bush set 2007 as the target for ubiquitous broadband access to service provider networks, although he regards it as ambitious. To reach it, every possible access technology will be needed and that means FCC policies on all of them.That role will be guided by a light touch, he says. "We should be driven to do everything we can to stimulate applications," Powell said, and that means doing as little regulation as possible. "I don't have money to give or investments to make, but we do invest indirectly by creating a regulatory environment that hacks away the underbrush."By minimizing the governmental hoops providers have to jump through to get new services approved, the less money they have to spend on lawyers to do the jumping. "They can redirect that money to switches and fiber," he said.He said the standard the FCC should use is whether failure to regulate would result in actual harm to the public good.He also said the commission should experiment with altering regulations to encourage growth, such as offering more unlicensed wireless spectrum, squeezing in more bandwidth within broadband spectrum and making it easier to transfer spectrum licenses. "Dramatic changes are needed. We cannot act fast enough to let the use of spectrum reach its highest and best use," Powell said.Powell said state regulators should adopt the light-touch approach as well. States that have started to regulate IP voice services are making a mistake, he said, because they aren't addressing real problems. Services that let customers personalize features, cost less and give consumers power to get away from incumbent providers should not be discouraged, he said.Powell praised the announcement by SBC that it would\u00a0invest $6 billion in fiber to the neighborhood\u00a0that will enable broadband services in its territory.\u00a0"This is the type of investment we've been trying to create the environment for four years," he said."One year from now I think the industry will be hot," Powell said. " is the day the match is lit and in '05 there will be a fire."