Federal Communications Commission

Conversation with the Chairman...

September 10th, 2009 by Mark Wigfield - Spokesman, Omnibus Broadband Initiative.

Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, speaks about his vision on the National Broadband Plan, revitalizing the FCC, and increasing innovation at the agency.

Download .mp4 Transcript

The FCC must be a twenty-first century agency for the information age, New media technologies can help achieve that important goal. Using innovative online tools will enable the Commission to perform more efficiently and communicate more effectively.  They will also encourage the widest possible participation in what the FCC does and harness the communications expertise we have all over the country. -Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

11 Responses to “Conversation with the Chairman...”

  1. Mrs. Embarrassed-to-be-a-Democrat says:

    And how is this video helpful?

    When will this FCC actually do something?

    When will this Chairman say something about his views on policy? Get on with it already!

    The transcript to this video reads just like the dozens of other say-alot-without-saying-anything interviews this dude has done over the past few months.

  2. Cesar Rincon says:

    Dear Chairman, what is the outlook for LPTV and Class A TV stations? They have been overlooked by the governement and with no releif in sight reagrding their transition to digital, more than 2500 tv stations are dying one at a time. You mention innovators and entrepreneurs. LPTV Owners have been the most dedicated broadcasters in the history of TV. They are still the only real owner-operators and they are dying. Please help!

    Respectfully, Cesar Rincon Houston, TX

  3. Nickolaus E. Leggett says:

    Hello Mr. Chairman,

    The FCC needs to look in detail at protecting broadband from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks and intense natural solar flares. Both of these types of events can disable communications over a wide area. In addition, the FCC needs to do more to encourage individual experimenters and inventors to develop new broadband communications technologies. In particular, the FCC needs to open up more of the millimeter waves to individual experimenters and experimental networks. I have submitted comments on these two subjects through the formal FCC procedures. Thank you and have a nice day. Nickolaus E. Leggett

  4. Larry Goldberg says:

    Closed captioning on the video blog! Nicely done!

  5. Mr Concerned. says:

    Hello Mr Chairman,

    The FCC needs to regulate not only broadband services and communications but needs to bring availabilty to every single American Citizen. Communications is in fact a very important resource from smoke signals, messengers, telegraph, to telephones without them ideas and innovation cant occur. The control of communications should not be controlled by one single group or interest.

    It is vital that we setup a plan that makes the poor and the most affluent to have the same equal footing as everyone else. Communications whiter they are ideas or written words should not be held at ransom by narrow defintions or loop holes. All of the polls presented on this blog are relivent to us all we need to be allowed to speak and be allowed to use the tools that are soo important. Control of our commmunications leads only to social engineering related to past regimes that stifled ideas such as the rise of negative and cultural bias.

    From the civil rights movement of the 60's in the south where many people blocked or became violent when African Americans were impeded to have the vote. To the desimination of Nazi Propaganda that lead to the death of millions of Jews. Or to the Millions of Chinese that were murdered in China during the same period. All of those crimes were commited under controlled Communications. Narrow allowance for commununications has lead to censoring and the squelching of free ideas and communications should not be a relgated to a luxury that only the few can enjoy.


    Mr, Concerned.

  6. Steven Longmire says:

    Okay, I was excited when they announced that they were going to do and they approved a broadband initiative. Then I started looking at the details, and the obvious lack sense of urgency to make this happen, given the fact that the telcos that have literally been "screwing us" for years will only jump on the gravy train once they know that not only will the stimulus package pay for digging the trenches, and laying new fiber, but also the fact that we will still get screwed by the charges the telcos will charge on those lines that the citizens of this country have paid for. Am I the only one that realizes this?

    On top of this, there are ways to get broadband into underserved or rural areas that only have to tie into a telco or an Internet connection provided by a city's government. This is proven technology, it is open source, and has been used in Third World countries where they can't bury copper, simply because people dig it up to sell it. I am referencing the David Bowman FSO "free space optical" network. If you don't know about David's contribution, take a moment and get educated at the potentially world changing (Third World countries, rural areas, underserved areas that the telcos aren't interested in because they won't make enough money) information on how to build these optical devices at minimal costs. Here is his PDF document on my google public share

    Again one of the most profound things about broadband stimulus is the idea that the telcos are going to get the lion share of the money (our hard earned money), and then after all of that is said and done we have to pay them again to use it. I'm sorry but common sense dictates this is an absolutely stupid idea. Check out David's document, and if you would like further information on this, his e-mail address is inside the document or you can contact me at

    I encourage feedback, and anyone's comment about the FCC and this response document. Thank you very much, Steven Longmire

  7. Guest says:

    Even if the statute requiring FCC to develop a national broadband plan by February 2010 does NOT require the FCC to develop cost estimates and funding source recommendations, the FCC should include these items in the plan anyway. FCC should take a page from the current national debate on Healthcare. It IS about the money! It's always about who is going to pay for the infrastructure and services in this country, including the February 2010 Broadband plan. All Americans have a voice in how their taxes are being used by the government, and who pays for the implementation of your plan IS of primary importance.

  8. Brett Glass says:

    It's great to see that the FCC is interested in innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in the wireless space. As the world's first WISP (terrestrial wireless ISP), I'm part of an industry which is struggling to innovate but has been held back by barriers that the FCC has the power to remove.

    Firstly, the current spectrum auction system is an insurmountable barrier to small entrepreneurs. It requires huge payments -- all upfront, before the innovator can make a dime! -- and is set up so that the potential return on the money paid at auction is much higher to incumbents who lock out competition than it is to new competitors. What's more, once the spectrum is gone, it's gone; there are no secondary markets at all. So, innovators who come along even one day after the auction are simply locked out.

    Secondly, there's the problem of price gouging for "special access" lines -- the "middle mile" connections that innovators in the wireless space need to connect their systems back to the Internet backbone and/or the telephone network. Failure to act on this issue will not only hobble broadband development; it could well bring about a cellular duopoly in a country which, thus far, has been fortunate enough to have four strong competitors plus many other smaller ones.

    Thirdly, there's the threat of unnecessary regulation. The spectre of so-called "network neutrality" regulation, which would prevent innovation in the management of networks and the allocation of their resources, has chilled investment in companies like my own. Investors fear that such regulations -- especially the versions touted by lobbying groups such as Free Press, the New America Foundation, and Public Knowledge on behalf of Google, Inc. -- would prevent small providers from being economically viable. (After the Comcast Order, my own investors asked me to buy them out, leaving me as sole owner of my company at a time when I could very much use third party capital to expand.) Given that there is in fact no actual "network neutrality" problem (despite the lobbyists' claims, no one is censoring the Internet, and ISPs' bandwidth management is very much oriented toward maintaining quality of service and is not anticompetitive), the agency should make it clear that it does not intend to regulate except in the presence of actual anticompetitive behavior.

    These three things -- access to spectrum, access to the backbone, and access to capital -- are key to innovation in the wireless space. Enable them, and there will be innovation unlike any that our nation has seen before.

  9. Michelle Amabo says:

    Brett glass just accused Free Press, New America and Public Knowledge of lobbying on behalf of Google.

    Hogwash. The latter two take Google money (whether or not that counts as them then being expected to lobby on behalf of google is up to interpretation... does Brett think his friend Richard Bennett lobbies on behalf of AT&T and Comcast because ITIF takes their money?), but Free Press does not, in any way shape or form, take any money from Google.

    Also interesting how Brett Glass wants the government to step in and regulate against other's property rights (spectrum holders and special access line owners), but wants the government to get out of his way so he is then free to use those in-kind government subsidies to discriminate against lawful Internet content. It is a myth that network management and Net neutrality cannot co-exist...

  10. Brett Glass says:

    P.S. -- Please also note former Commissioner Adelstein's remarks regarding WISPs, on the FCC's own Web site, at

  11. Brett Glass says:

    Yes -- Free Press, the New America Foundation, and Public Knowledge all obtain money, directly or indirectly, from Google and lobby for Google's agenda. Eric Schmidt -- the CEO of Google -- has essentially bought himself the chairmanship of the New America Foundation by giving it millions of Google dollars. Public Knowledge has accepted not only money but in-kind donations of labor from Google. And Free Press refuses to reveal its full IRS Form 990 (which is ironic because it calls for "transparency"); it is therefore not possible to tell if, perhaps, it is accepting money which is claimed to be a personal contribution (as New America does with contributions from Eric Schmidt of Google) but is in fact corporate money. What's more, Free Press has acknowledged accepting money from several foundations to which Google contributes, suggesting that corporate money is likely being "laundered" through these foundations.

    In any event, as Chairman Genachowski himself said in a recent Congressional oversight hearing:

    "When the market works and there's sufficient competition, then the FCC has no need to act. When the market isn't working, and the consumers could benefit from policies to promote competition, then the Commission MUST act."

    In short, the FCC must only regulate when there is an actual problem to be solved , and when markets cannot work to solve that problem.

    "Network neutrality" regulation is not a solution to any real world problem; it addresses only an imaginary problem which is postulated to exist by Google's lobbyists, for the purpose of having regulations passed which favor Google. And all of the "solutions" to this "problem" favor Google at the expense of ISPs and of the public at large.

    By contrast, the problems of "special access" price gouging and spectrum hoarding/market failure are real and truly do impact the public. The FCC should not waste its energy and political capital on non-problems, but rather should address actual bottlenecks and market failures.

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