Sound Off - Industry reacts to Obama's FCC pick

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to appoint Julius Genachowski, his former campaign technology adviser, to head the FCC. Genachowski, a former chief counsel to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt during the Clinton Administration, is a Harvard Law School classmate of Obama and he 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 and he has served as an executive for the Internet firm IAC/InterActive Corp. Here's what industry players are saying about the appointment.

What is your reaction to the news that President-Elect Barack Obama is planning to nominate Julius Genachowski as the next FCC chairman?


"Julius Genachowski is an outstanding choice to chair the Commission. He is knowledgeable, experienced, and presumably will have the ear of the most influential people within the Administration. PFF looks forward to working with Mr. Genachowski and the agency under his leadership." --Ken Ferree, President, The Progress & Freedom Foundation


"On behalf of CTIA and the wireless industry, I want to congratulate Julius Genachowski on his expected nomination to Chair the FCC. Mr. Genachowski would bring to the office a wealth of knowledge on telecommunications, legal and business matters, as well as a keen understanding of how the efficient deployment of wireless broadband technology can spur economic growth.

Mr. Genachowski has demonstrated a strong belief in forward thinking regulatory policies. He recognizes the importance of a balanced regulatory approach and appreciates the unique benefits and services the wireless industry has to offer.

We hope the Senate will act quickly to confirm Mr. Genachowski once it receives his nomination and look forward to working with him and the Commission to bring broadband to the person, wherever they are and whenever they want it." --Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA


"Under Julius Genachowski's leadership, the FCC's compass would point toward the public interest. President-elect Obama has provided a clear roadmap of his media and technology priorities. We share Obama's goals of creating a more diverse, democratic media system and providing fast, affordable, open Internet access for everyone. We greatly look forward to working with Mr. Genachowski to put the president-elect's plan into action.

"The challenges facing the next FCC are enormous--a vast digital divide, an open Internet in jeopardy, consolidated media ownership, newsrooms in economic freefall and entrenched industries invested in maintaining the status quo. This moment calls for bold and immediate steps to spur competition, foster innovation and breathe new life into our communications sector. With his unique blend of business and governmental experience, Genachowski promises to provide the strong leadership we need." --Josh Silver, Executive director of Free Press

"The selection of Julius Genachowski is a great boost for the nation's drive to be the world leader in all things broadband. He understands the importance of deploying next-generation networks that open the doors to a new world of life-enhancing applications and services. He also understands the appropriate role of government in establishing the right policies to achieve the promise of broadband. We look forward to working with him."
--Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy and communications


"M2Z Networks congratulates Julius upon his nomination and applaud the President-elect on his choice to head the FCC.  The country and the broadband industry need dedicated, creative and multi-faceted people like Julius to make the sacrifice to work in the public sector and make positive changes for American consumers and the public interest.  We wish him well on his new mission." --John Muleta, CEO and founder, M2Z Networks