Julius Genachowski at the FCC

January 14th, 2009 by · 3 Comments

So now we know that Obama’s choice for FCC Chairman is his longtime friend and advisor Julius Genachowski.  Genachowski is the guy who helped Obama formulate his technology strategy during the campaign, so at least we know he knows how to use the internet.  I don’t envy his position, the current world of FCC regulation is a total basketcase.  Stepping into the role now has to be a bit like voluntarily putting your foot into the washing machine while it’s spinning, but somebody has to do it.  Amongst the big issues he will face right away are the perennial intercarrier compensation debate and the conversion to digital cable, but those are just the tip of the iceberg.

What does that mean for the internet and infrastructure industry? Well, it seems to be a positive one.  Genachowski is close to the president-elect, and that implies Obama may really care about what the FCC does – already a major change.  He has in the past argued for network neutrality, and even while I think the whole concept has lost its meaning his position on the subject implies that he won’t be a puppet of the RBOCs nor of the cables.  Rather, he seems if anything to lean toward media companies.

Some people have expressed the wish that a technologist rather than a lawyer head the FCC.  I disagree, only a lawyer (with a technology background) can handle the spaghetti that is the current FCC, put a tech guy in there and it would probably strangle him.  Regardless, for one thing I do not look forward to typing that 17 character long name over and over again for 8 years.  We need a good nickname for this guy – how about we just call him JJ? No?  Hmmm, I didn’t think so.

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Categories: Government Regulations

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