Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Strong Neutrality Advocate to Lead FCC

President-elect Barack Obama is due to tap Net Neutrality supporter Julius Genachowski to become chair of the Federal Communications Commission.

Genachowski is one of the principal architects of Obama’s pro-Neutrality tech and media platform, which was partially unveiled during a November 2007 event, at which Obama pledged to "ensure a free and full exchange of information" and "take a backseat to no one in my commitment to Network Neutrality."


Genachowski in the front seat

Genachowski is well regarded in the technology community, both as the former chief counsel for Reed Hundt, an FCC chairman under President Bill Clinton, and as a private-sector entrepreneur and venture capitalist.

Expect Genachowski to turn his attention to bringing more choice to a broadband market controlled by a cartel of phone and cable companies.

He’s also expected to pry open valuable spectrum to broadband innovation and access, something his predecessor, the current FCC Chair Kevin Martin, said was a part of his own legacy at the agency. Indeed, more still needs to be done.

Net Neutrality is also a prominent feature in Obama’s plan for his FCC chief.

In October 2007 Obama pledged during a YouTube/MTV interview to reinstate Net Neutrality as the law of the land during his first year in office and to appoint as FCC chair someone who shares this view.

Obama's goals for the FCC
“I am a strong supporter of Net Neutrality,” Obama said. “So as president I’m going to make sure that that is the principle that my FCC commissioners are applying as we move forward.”

Genachowski influence on Obama has already yielded forward-looking policies as part of the change.gov technology and media platform that’s been posted by Obama’s transition team. According to the site, an Obama administration will hold to its campaign promises and “protect the openness of the Internet.”

“A key reason the Internet has been such a success is because it is the most open network in history. It needs to stay that way,” Obama’s policy team states. “Barack Obama strongly supports the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet.”

No comments: