Over at Bloomberg Businessweek, Todd Shields looks at the tenure of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, specifically his heavy focus on broadband:
Genachowski has warned U.S. economic growth could be compromised if wireless demand from smartphones overwhelms available airwaves. His pending initiatives include auctions, perhaps next year, that will encourage television-station owners to give up their airwaves for use by smartphone networks.
His focus on broadband has broken with some priorities of his predecessors. Genachowski’s FCC has levied no fines for broadcast indecency, after a flurry of penalties under Republican chairmen from 2003 to 2008, and he hasn’t completed a loosening of media-ownership rules.
Shields’ full profile is worth checking out.
At Politico, Brooks Boliek and Kim Hart have penned an interesting look at how FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski deals with criticism from both the left and the right:
To conservatives, the chairman of the FCC is a regulatory zealot, bent on making the free market conform to a government-mandated vision.
To liberals, he’s a would-be champion who sold them out when the going got tough, watering down his landmark net neutrality proposal to appease the other side.
In many ways, he faces some of the same criticism from both sides that has plagued President Barack Obama, Genachowski’s law school buddy. In trying to strike the right balance in their policies, both men have managed to tick off their supporters as well as their detractors.
Over the weekend, the Washington Post published a long, interesting profile of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski penned by Cecilia Kang. Here’s a taste:
Genachowski’s office is pristine, with lush eggshell couches and a large glass candy bowl full of USB-port keychains containing agency data for guests.
On a recent day, Genachowski was preparing for a trip to the Computer Museum in Silicon Valley to deliver a speech on allowing schools and libraries to lease unused fiber lines for cheap Internet access.
“I get really excited imagining what we can do in the future with broadband,” he said. That order was approved last week, but it is unclear how schools and libraries would tap those fiber connections and who would administer auctions to supply services. Those kinds of details could turn Genachowski’s ambition into mush, public interest groups and carriers say.
Few people say they know the FCC chairman well. He rarely veers off message and keeps his thinking close to the vest, say executives, lobbyists and FCC staffers who interact with him. Senior staff steeped with technology policy knowledge have recently left.
And some industry insiders who declined to speak on the record to protect their ongoing relationship with the chairman, said Genachowski doesn’t get deeply into the details of telecom policy.
Check out the entire profile at the Washington Post.