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Background: Press reports have indicated that on Friday Julius Genachowski will announce that he is stepping down from his post as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He has held that position since June 2009.
The following is the statement of Public Knowledge:
"For those of us who represent the public, Chairman Genachowski‘s term can best be described as one of missed opportunities. He had the opportunity, but declined, to solidify the agency’s authority and ability to protect consumers with regard to broadband—the communications system of the present and future. As a result, there is a real danger that the FCC will become a powerless and irrelevant agency as the nation’s communications networks change. The Chairman had the opportunity, but declined, to take several important steps that would have promoted more robust competition in the wireline and wireless broadband market. He punted on special access and permitted two major mergers, spelling the end of 'facilities-based' competition between the cable and telephone industries.
"The Chairman deserves credit for defending both the Commission’s data roaming rules and unlicensed spectrum, for permitting DISH Network to provide terrestrial wireless service, and for releasing the staff report that helped to end AT&T’s attempted takeover of T-Mobile. But it remains to be seen whether those positive steps will mitigate the enormous consolidation that has taken place in the broadband marketplace under his watch.
"We urge the President to appoint a new FCC Chair who will put the public interest first, and who will restore the agency’s ability to protect the values so critical to our communications system and to our democracy - service to all Americans, openness, competition and diversity. The nation cannot afford another four years of missed opportunities."
To read Public Knowledge President and CEO Gigi B. Sohn's blog post about the next FCC Chair go here.