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Obama Picks a Net-Neutrality-Lovin' Techie For FCC Chair

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The WSJ reports that Obama's pick for FCC chairman is Julius Genachowski, Obama's top tech adviser. He's the mastermind of the Obama's technology and innovation plan that supports net neutrality and ubiquitous cheap broadband.

Genachowski, a Harvard Law classmate of Obama's, served at the FCC during the Clinton years before putting in time at Barry Diller's IAC/InterActive Corp. and founding the venture capital firm LaunchBox Digital. And he's almost exactly what Obama promised his FCC chair would look like.


He promises to be a different kind of FCC chair that current chairman Kevin Martin. Most crucially (for nerds), Genachowski supports net neutrality, while Martin was opposed to it, or at least the government mandating it. Martin also had a streak of relaxing media ownership rules, while Genachowski's plans call for "media-ownership rules that encourage more diversity." And telecoms like Verizon will probably be sad Martin is going away since he definitely played favorites with them over cable (allegedly inappropriately so).


One thing they agree on, though, is cheap broadband for all—Martin said at CES that a broadband connection is as important being connected to the phone system. But we're sure they're gonna go about giving broadband to all in different ways.

We like a fair bit of what Martin has done—the open 700MHz auction, for instance, and who can really hate him for busting Comcast's balls all the time?—but we're ready to see what the new guy can do.


Update: Here's some more on Genachowski from the WSJ and what it might mean for the FCC. [WSJ]