President Obama officially nominated Julius Genachowski to be the new chairman of the FCC, a little less than two months after his name was first floated as the pick.
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 former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Congress. Genachowski's nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.
Obama said he could think of no one better to lead the commission. "He will bring to the job diverse and unparalleled experience in communications and technology, with two decades of accomplishment in the private sector and public service," he said in a statement.
Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps, who has been in that position since last January, praised Genachowski's nomination. "Julius has the knowledge, experience and dedication to lead this agency forward as we tackle the many challenges confronting the country--and the commission," he said in a statement. "I look forward to the prospect of working with him on a communications agenda focused on serving consumers and the public interest."
A former Harvard Law School classmate of Obama's, Genachowski played a key role in shaping Obama'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, including the digital TV transition, which has been delayed until June. Additionally, some of the other issues in play are the potential auction of the D-Block of the 700 MHz spectrum band, the possibility of creating a free national broadband service using the AWS-3 spectrum band and Obama's plan to expand broadband service generally.
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