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FCC commissioner Michael Copps, among the strongest and most consistent critics of media consolidation, said Tuesday that he will resign his post by the end of this month.

Copps, who has been on the commission since 2001, had already indicated that he would step down. Jessica Rosenworcel, one of his former staff members, is awaiting Senate confirmation after President Obama nominated her for the seat in October. Copps said his resignation is effective Jan. 1, but sooner if Rosenworcel is confirmed before then.

“The FCC is an agency of true excellence, and its decisions are integral to our country’s future,” Copps said in a statement. “Ubiquitous, opportunity-creating broadband and a resource-rich media capable of informing our civic dialogue are critically important components of our future success as a people, and I intend to keep speaking about these challenges as a private citizen in the years ahead.”

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said that those at the agency “will long remember and be inspired by the work of Commissioner Copps to give voice to the voiceless and to fight for the public interest.”