updated 03:55 pm EST, Tue March 3, 2009
Genachowski Goes to FCC
US President Obama on Tuesday afternoon confirmed that he has chosen Julius Genachowski to serve as the FCC's chairman. The President chose the new official based on his "diverse and unparalleled experience" with technology, which includes a former tenure as chief counsel to the FCC chairman during the Clinton administration, a role Chief of Business Operations at InterActiveCorp, and board positions on multiple web firms such as Expedia and The Motley Fool.
Genachowski was also influential throughout Obama's presidential campaign as first an adviser and later as a transition team member. He is widely credited with making the campaign truly Internet-aware and with helping to form significant parts of the President's technology policy.
The decision has significant implications for Internet service in the US. Genachowski is the permanent replacement for former chairman Kevin Martin, who left at the same time as Obama's inauguration and is generally regarded as having an only softly enforced position on Internet neutrality that preferred telephone firms over cable providers. Obama's formal policy considers a truly service-agnostic Internet a central tenet and is widely expected to see this approach maintained with Genachowski heading the FCC.
Major telecoms providers have typically objected to net neutrality under claims that they have the rights to manage their own networks, and are also expected to object to both Genachowski's and Obama's policies of expanding broadband Internet access into rural and other fringe areas. Cable and DSL providers have typically resisted government-mandated expansion under claims that it forces them to provide service in unprofitable areas.