Trouble getting a good wifi connection? Hang in there. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the agency will open up a new proceeding next month to free up more spectrum for WiFi. The initiative is expected to increase the amount of spectrum available for WiFi by 35% in places like airports and conferences when large numbers of people are accessing mobile networks at the same time.
The FCC is expected to phase out rules that required cable operators that own programming to make that content available to rival pay-TV distributors such as satellite broadcasters. On Friday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski signaled that he is not interested in extending the so-called program access rules beyond their expiration date in October, people inside the agency said.
The NAB CEO tells FCC Chairman Genachowski that “the commission need not choose between quality wireless broadband and a robust local broadcast system” and urges him to engage TV broadcasters as partners in finding a solution.
Fierce opposition to FCC Chairman Genachowski’s plan to sunset cable carriage of analog signals is being led by independent stations, especially those with religious and foreign-language formats. Key to their efforts is convincing Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to oppose the plan.
Speaking at the national cable convention, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski offered cable operators some hope that carriage payments to broadcasters could go down, citing the rise in blackouts and an FCC examination of shared services agreements. But, he gave no indication the process is moving with any alacrity.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has named Renee Wentzel legal adviser to the chairman, responsible for wireless and engineering and technology issues, while Charles Mathias becomes special counsel to the chairman, with responsibility for public safety and homeland security issues.
Chairman Julius Genachowski tells broadcasters assembled at NAB that the FCC’s plan to require stations to put their political ad files online is “common sense’ and dismisses their objections. For all that’s going on at NAB 2012, click here.
That’s the value and power of over-the-air television broadcasting. The Fox plan to invest millions of dollars into the launch of MundoFox, a new broadcasting network for Hispanics, makes hash out of the FCC chairman’s contention that broadcasting is an obsolete medium and that its continued use of spectrum is of a waste or at least the underutilization of a precious natural resource.
In a keynote address yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sounded a warning for mobile broadband users. “We’re threatened by a looming spectrum crunch,” Genachowski said. “This is the dark cloud around the silver lining.”
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said on Wednesday that he has received bipartisan support from a group of U.S. senators for so-called “incentive” auctions of spectrum without legislative restrictions.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, The Leadership Conference of Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of various rights groups, asks him to review how ownership rules are affecting opportunities for minorities to rise up the corporate ladder.
The last thing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wants to talk about are the media ownership rules. With the exception of a fleeting mention of media ownership, Genachowski has said very little about the 2010 quadrennial review of the rules required by Congress.But time is running out. If the FCC doesn’t get to the rules soon, it will slam right into the election, making the rules an even more toxic political issue at the time when local politicians count most on their local media outlets.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a frequent target of Republicans who opposed his net-neutrality regulations, was criticized by Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces subpanel, for choosing to send a subordinate to a Thursday hearing. “I consider the chairman’s failure to show up today to be an affront to the House Armed Services Committee,” Turner said. “Personally, I believe this is an absolute effort by the chairman to avoid the oversight questions by Congress.”
Yesterday, FCC Chairman Genachowski issued a press release stating that the FCC was abolishing the Fairness Doctrine as part of its clearing of its book of 83 obsolete media rules. What should the reaction of broadcasters be now that the Fairness Doctrine has been officially abolished? Probably, a collective yawn. In 1987 — almost 25 years ago — the FCC felt that it could not enforce the doctrine as it was an unconstitutional restriction on the freedom of speech of broadcasters. So the repeal of the actual FCC rule that sets out the doctrine is really inconsequential, as it practically changes nothing. What remains unknown about yesterday’s announcement from the chairman is just how far this repeal goes.
The congressman is ticked at Julius Genachowski, saying the FCC chairman hasn’t given him a “substantive response” to his questions about the proposed spectrum auctions.
New lobbying battles at the FCC are increasingly forcing regulators to determine “property rights” in the sky, as more business sectors rely on mobile technologies that are crowding the nation’s limited airwaves. The battles now before the FCC pit oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico against educational TV programmers on shore, makers of wireless patient devices against military test-flight centers, and automobile collision avoidance radar against scientists listening for life in the universe.
The FCC chairman names Zachary Katz as chief counsel; Sherrese Smith as senior counsel and legal adviser; and Amy Levine as special counsel and legal adviser
The long-awaited FCC report, “The Information Needs of Communities,” was released last week. Had the report endorsed radical (and preposterous) things, like a federal tax credit for investigative journalism, it would have attracted more ink, and been the subject of conversation far longer. But it’s a credit to its authors, and to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, that it did not do so, because it shows they possess both a realistic view of the scope of the FCC’s limited authority and a healthy respect for the First Amendment.
Following up on Thursday’s release of the FCC’s landmark study “The Information Needs of Communities,” FCC senior adviser Steven Waldman and Chairman Julius Genachowski say the goals of the report are attainable: making sure all Americans have access to the Internet, but that the journalistic content provides the kind of reporting, and therefore accountability, that truly serves communities.
The FCC has agreed to comply with a House GOP request to once and for all kill the fairness doctrine. The agency’s chairman, Julius Genachowski, said he expects the FCC staff will recommend the deletion of the fairness doctrine and related provisions as part of his effort to comply with President Obama’s call for agency’s to eliminate unnecessary regulations.
After the FCC announced Tuesday that Rick Kaplan will assume the position of chief in the Wireless Bureau, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski must decide who will succeed Kaplan as his top lawyer. Speculation is already heating up about who could be the new chief counsel in the chairman’s office. Here are some top contenders.
“The finest communications system in the world relies on both free, over-the-air broadcast television and high speed broadband services,” wrote Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-Pa.) in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Accordingly, I write today to state my view that spectrum policies will best serve the public if they allow for a continued and robust local broadcast television service along with broadband services.”
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told a Telecommunications Industry Association audience in Dallas Thursday that there should be no more debate about whether there is a spectrum crunch that requires freeing up more spectrum.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced today that they’re launching a new mobile telephone emergency alert system by the end of the year in Washington and New York.
In his search for balance, Julius Genachowski has ticked off his supporters as well as his detractors. 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.
The FCC chairman’s speech to advance his plan to move TV spectrum to wireless broadband fell on mostly deaf ears. Genachowski recognized broadcasters’ concerns, but really didn’t address them. What he did make clear is that he views wireless broadband as the big game and that it is his job to feed it with as much spectrum as he can find. In his mind, broadcasting is nice; broadband is “essential.”
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski met with most of a hundred state broadcasters out in Las Vegas this week to talk about the FCC’s spectrum auction plan, according to an FCC official familiar with the meeting. The chairman was there to address the NAB Show on that very topic.
The FCC chairman tries to reassure broadcasters that any incentive auction plan of TV spectrum would be voluntary, saying it’s “essential that broadcasters be treated fairly.” He reinforces his claim that such action is needed to meet a growing need for wireless broadband services, saying, “If we wait until there’s a crisis to reallocate spectrum, we’ll have waited too long — for consumers, for our global competitiveness — and, I believe, for broadcasters.”
The redesigned FCC.gov follows the agency’s promise of bringing Web 2.0 to government. The beta site opens the door for public feedback on the first major update in 10 years.
The White House is considering FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski as a potential successor to Gary Locke as Secretary of Commerce, according to tech industry sources and prominent Democrats close to the White House. Genachowski is among a list of names the White House has floated internally, along with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, other government officials, and top business executives, the sources said.
Amy Levine, the former policy adviser to Rep. Rick Boucher, is tapped to by special counsel to the FCC chairman, specializing in public safety and spectrum matters.
While the FCC under Julius Genachowski is actively moving to take spectrum away from TV stations, which the chairman calls an “obstacle” to America’s broadband future, its conditions placed on the Comcast-NBCU deal indicate just the opposite. The commission has decreed that NBC and Telemundo stations must produce an additional 1,000 hours of “original, local news and information programming” as groups. To me that shows that the FCC is implicitly recognizing the continued importance of broadcasting in the media mix.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski voiced some doubts that Congress will approve spectrum auctions to open up more broadband airspace. Genachowski said at a Brookings Institution panel Wednesday that he won’t make bets on Congress passing legislation on incentive spectrum auctions, a top priority of the FCC and a proposal that has bipartisan support on the Hill.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will tell Consumer Electronics Show attendees that broadcasters who are not making “effective use of the capabilities of their spectrum” should have it put to a “higher use for other purposes.”
Voting 3-2 along partisan lines, the agency adopted rules aimed at prohibiting cable companies from favoring some Internet users or discriminating against others. “For the first time, we’ll have enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who crafted and pushed for the rules.
Last night, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski poked fun at his reputation, fair or not, for indecision; for his lawyerly evasion of questions; his aborted attempt at Title II reclassification; and other criticisms leveled by both industry and the public interest community. But he had plenty of deprecation left over for everybody else, including NCTA’s Kyle McSlarrow, Verizon, Free Press and even his predecessors in the FCC’s big chair.