We are saddened to report the loss of another member of the FCC family. We have learned that Nai Tam, long-time engineer at the Commission, lost his two-year-plus battle with brain cancer on January 23. Nai is familiar to communications professionals in most regulatory areas, as he served in the Media Bureau, the Enforcement Bureau, the Office of Engineering and Technology and the International Bureau. He started at the Commission’s Norfolk Field Office in 1974, but soon moved to the then-Broadcast Bureau, processing AM and FM applications in the Aural Facilities – New and Changed Branch. Most recently he worked in the Media Bureau’s Video Division, helping the TV industry through the 2009 digital transition.
Nai had a firm grasp of all details, obvious and subtle, of the Commission’s technical rules and processes. More importantly, he was able to explain those details to us non-engineers who needed more than a little tutoring in engineering esoterica. He offered those explanations patiently and graciously. If something more than an explanation was necessary to help resolve issues, he took care of things without fail and without delay, often coming up with creative solutions in the process.
On a personal note, in 1974 this blogger – just arrived at the FCC with nothing more than a newly-issued law degree in hand – shared an office with Nai. We became and remained friends. He taught me much over the years. I am grateful for his help and his friendship.
Nai served both the agency and the communications industry well, with efficiency, good humor and personality. We extend our condolences to his family. We will miss him.
Funeral services for Nai had already been held by the time we heard of his passing. Donations in his memory may be sent to the Neuro-Oncology Research fund for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center. An account has been created in memory of Nai Yum Tam.