Genachowski to Focus On Broadband In Senate Testimony


Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski will be discussing broadband -- almost exclusively -- when he talks up the agency's role in maximizing the power of communications technology at a Senate Commerce Committee FCC oversight hearing Wednesday, at least according to his opening statement.

In fact, he uses the term "broadband" 18 times, and "wireless" nine, while there are no references to "broadcasting." He does refer to TV, but only to make the point that the FCC has already freed up some broadcast spectrum for unlicensed devices in the so called TV "white spaces."

There is also an oblique reference to broadcasting when the chairman refers to unleashing "significant amounts of prime spectrum through incentive auctions."

"At the FCC, our mission is to maximize the power of communications technology to grow our economy; create jobs; enhance U.S. competitiveness; empower consumers; and unleash American innovation, including in areas like education, health care, and public safety," according to a copy of his prepared text.

That is echoing the themes that have become virtually a mantra for the chairman. "Consistent with this mission, over the last three years, we have focused the agency on broadband communications -- wired and wireless," he says to put a point on it.

That focus, he points out, includes "modernizing and reforming major programs like the Universal Service Fund [which the FCC is migrating to broadband], freeing spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed use, removing barriers to broadband buildout, and taking strong and balanced steps to preserve Internet freedom."

"In conclusion, the wired and wireless broadband sectors are critically important to our economy and global competitiveness," according to the prepared text.