Julius Genachowski, reported FCC Chairman-designate - Execs to Watch 2009

Why you need to watch him:

President Obama's reported choice to lead the FCC, Julius Genachowski, will face a host of unresolved issues at the commission should he be selected and confirmed by the Senate. The next FCC chairman will have to deal with many of the problems that dogged outgoing chairman Kevin Martin but it's too soon to know whether he will pursue some of Martin's key items such as the proposed  free wireless Internet plan using AWS-3 spectrum that spurred contentious debate between M2Z Networks and T-Mobile USA.

What we do know is that Genachowski played a key role in shaping President Obama's technology policy during the presidential campaign, especially in formulating his stances on net-neutrality and expanded broadband access.

One of the first issues Genachowski will have to confront will be the fallout from a possible delay in the transition to digital TV. Major telecom companies, such as Qualcomm, are opposed to such a delay, mainly because of the impact it would have on their use of 700 MHz spectrum that they won last year in the spectrum auction.

All of this may become secondary to Obama's agenda, especially his push for more broadband access in rural parts of the United States. For instance, will a Genachowski-led FCC look favorably upon companies like Clearwire?

It's not clear yet whether Genachowski will pursue a more aggressive regulatory policy that is less friendly to the wireless industry, as many FCC watchers expect of a Democratic-controlled commission.  If so, the FCC's relationship with CTIA and other major industry players will certainly be marked by the Obama mantra: change.     

Julius Genachowski, reported FCC Chairman-designate - Execs to Watch 2009