Anticipating a new government, there’s speculation on what kind of regulation the new Congress might be prone to, and on who President-elect Barack Obama may designate as FCC Chairman.
Obama has formed a working group on high-tech policy – called the Technology, Innovation & Government Reform – and to lead the group, he has appointed Blair Levin and Julius Genachowski, both former aids to Reed Hundt when he was FCC Chairman, and Sonal Shah, who heads Google’s philanthropic organization.
The Washington Post implies that with their appointments, Levin and Genachowski become candidates for FCC Chair, themselves (story here).
Meanwhile, in Congress, Henry Waxman taking over as chair of the House Commerce Committee, and the likely appointment of Jay Rockefeller as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, signal big changes in telecom policy, The Wall Street Journal writes (story here).
Rockefeller has actively supported rural service programs and has advocated for regulations to curb violence on TV. He’s likely to work with Byron Dorgan, a foe of media consolidation, and the sponsor of a bill that bars companies to discriminate when forwarding Internet traffic.
Waxman is likely to give Ed Markey more authority on telecom issues. Markey is considered more critical of the telecom companies, and like Sen. Dorgan is more likely to push the industry on net neutrality issues.
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