Federal Communications Commission Chairman Charles D. Ferris said yesterday he plans to name Philip L. Verveer for the top staff job at the agency, director of the Common Carrier Bureau.
Verveer, 35, was named a month ago to head the FCC's Broadcast Bureau. But yesterday's announcement comes only a few days after present Common Carrier Bureau head Larry Darby announced his resignation.
Darby, one of the most powerful FCC officials, had come to odds with Ferris over the agency's move toward deregulation. Sources in the agency said Ferris finally decided to force Darby to resign after continued policy disagreements.
In a letter to Ferris announcing his resignation, Darby said his resignation was for "personal reasons."
Verveer, a former Justice Department attorney, has some experience in the common carrier area, which includes the telephone and telegraph industry. He worked for a time on the Justice antitrust case against American Telephone & Telegraph Co.
He also worked for the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition before leaving to head the FCC's cable television office in March 1978, and supervising completion of a hugh study of the cable television industry.
The Common Carrier Bureau, by far the FCC's largest bureau, has authority over regulation of the nation's phone system, which has become a hot political issue in recent years.
Several congressional committees are rewriting the Communications Act of 1934, and it is likely that AT&T will have considerably less regulatory protection than it enjoys today, as the entire communications spectrum is opened to competition.
Darby made no effort to hide his concern over a recent FCC decision in which the commission did not, as recommended by its staff, vote to force AT&T to return about $100 million to consumers because it earned slightly more than it is allowed to earn under regulatory restrictions.
FCC sources say it is likely there will be more resignations within the Common Carrier Bureau because of Darby's departure.