Julius Genachowski: A Great FCC Chairman

By: Shannon Downs

No doubt, a change at the helm of the FCC is both a scary and exciting time in our business. So in 2009 when President Obama appointed Julius Genachowski as Chairman of the FCC, everyone here at Smartcomm took a collective sigh of relief.  With rumors swirling that Mr. Genachowski may leave his post at the FCC next year, despite President Obama's reelection, Smartcomm felt it was a good time to pay homage to the man.

A veteran commission aide with a strong focus on mobile broadband, Smartcomm has always felt that the President made a great choice with Genachowski.  And as expected, he has accomplished remarkable things over the last few years. Julius Genachowski arrived at the FCC understanding that in the last decade the ways by which we communicate have drastically gone wireless; consumers are trading in home phone lines for smart phones, cable subscriptions for streaming videos and TV-over-the-Internet. Thankfully, rather than curbing the growth of our organically booming industry with regulatory hurdles, Chairman Genachowski decided to support us. Some of Smartcomm's favorite Genachowski accomplishments thus far:

  1. He's made more spectrum available for mobile broadband. Smart phones, tablets and other bandwidth hog devices have put us on the verge of a spectrum crisis. Smartcomm's opinion is that the spectrum crunch will continue for the foreseeable future, but at least this Chairman has made new spectrum allocations for mobile broadband a priority. He has solidified plans for upcoming spectrum auctions which will put a band aid on the bleeding jugular, for now.
  2. He created a more transparent FCC with open-to-the-public strategy sessions and a streamlined, more informative website.
  3. He banned loud commercials.
  4. He enacted data roaming rules so now the consumers of regional carriers will soon enjoy the benefits of nationwide mobile data access at a reasonable cost. One small step for the little guy.
  5. He pulled Public Safety out of the Stone Age by 1) putting Text-to-911 services on the fast track. With all four major wireless carriers now on board, the service is slated to be available to all Americans nationwide by 2014. And, 2) he also secured the 700 MHz D-Block for Public Safety + President Obama pledged $7 billion in funding for a new LTE network for first responders.

During President Obama's second term, freeing up more spectrum for mobile broadband is expected to continue to be a key point of focus on the FCC agenda.  Smartcomm's hope that Julius Genachowski will remain at the helm for four more years. If not, the new Chairman will have big shoes to fill.

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