Obama picks Genachowski to head US FCC

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Julius Genachowski, his former campaign technology adviser, to head the FCC, according to officials close to the transition team and to key lawmakers.

Genachowski, a former chief counsel to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt during the Clinton Administration, will be appointed to lead the agency, which has been marked this past year by both large decisions affecting the telecom and wireless industries as well as by tension between current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Congress.

A former Harvard Law School classmate of Obama's, Genachowski, played a key role in shaping the president-elect's technology policy during the presidential campaign, especially in formulating Obama's stances on net-neutrality and expanded broadband access. Genachowski, recently co-founded LaunchBox Digital, a Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm. He also has served as an executive for the Internet firm IAC/InterActive Corp.

The new FCC will have a list of issues to deal with right from the start of Obama's term, including the possible digital TV transition switch, and its implications for 700 MHz spectrum owners, as well as a decision on AWS-3 spectrum, if the current commission does not resolve it before Obama takes office.

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