FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Balanced Business, Public Interests

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2013-03-23 Print this article Print

Another aspect of Genachowski’s drive for universal broadband access is a reorientation of the radio spectrum to give more access to users with wireless devices. When the FCC moved television broadcasters to digital signals, it freed up a lot of broadcast spectrum that could be used for other purposes. In many cases those frequencies were put up for auction to wireless companies who needed the bandwidth for broadband access.

In the end, however, Genachowski’s accomplishments have become more widely appreciated. Sprint Nextel, which stood to lose a lot because of the actions of larger wireless carriers, clearly noted its appreciation for Genachowski’s hand on the tiller.

“From his decision to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile USA, to his efforts to reform the Universal Service Fund, inter-carrier compensation, special access and wireless Lifeline…Genachowski has repeatedly stood up for consumers and competition,” said Vonya McCann, vice president for government affairs in a prepared statement.

“His foresight to create the country’s first National Broadband Plan laid the groundwork to provide more wireless spectrum to help meet the demand of consumers and businesses across the country. Sprint appreciates his courageous leadership and his commitment to competition. Our industry and the American economy are better off as a result.”

T-Mobile, as you might expect, also appreciates Genachowski’s actions at the FCC. "Chairman Genachowski has provided significant leadership on key regulatory decisions that are fundamental to the future development of the wireless sector and more broadly the telecommunications and media industries, said T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

“Rapidly changing industries such as ours require thoughtful leadership, such as that provided by Chairman Genachowski, to insure that the benefits of new technologies, service offerings and business models are enjoyed by American consumers and businesses alike," Legere said.

Tom Sugrue, T-Mobile’s senior vice president for governmental affairs, noted the FCC chairman’s stand on competition. “During the course of his tenure, he has been a champion for competition—using a light regulatory touch when market forces can solve a problem, while at the same time not shying away from intervention when necessary on issues such as roaming, which have brought measurable benefits to consumers,” Sugrue said in a prepared statement.

Over the next few days there will be statements of praise from some along with statements urging the selection of a new chairman who more closely identifies with one pressure group or another.

But perhaps we should let Chairman Genachowski have the last word here, taken from his speech to FCC employees as he announced his departure. “While there are challenges ahead in this fast-moving, globally competitive sector, a revitalized FCC is prepared to continue taking them on. I’m deeply grateful to President Obama for his vision, friendship and the opportunity to serve our country.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done together to harness technology to advance the American dream for the 21st century. I know you’ll continue to fight hard to fulfill this agency’s vital mission, and I look forward to continuing to work together until my last day at the agency, and to count you as family and as an inspiration for long after that,” Genachowski said.


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