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The FCC at CES

by: Roger Goldblatt

January 11, 2010

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For the last week, the FCC has manned an exhibit booth here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and while we’re not among the electronics giants, we got lots of traffic. It’s been great - our days were filled with constant streams of attendees.  Lots of questions. Lots of comments.

So what questions and comments was the FCC getting?  Lots of Ham operators stopping by to say hi and talk about the old days getting their licenses. Consumers telling us we’re not doing enough on indecency and obscenity and consumers telling us we’re doing too much. A surprisingly large percentage of people telling us they’re glad to have us here, and a handful that ask “What are you guys doing here”.

At our booth, we told visitors about our efforts to create a broadband plan.  We showed them the FCC’s new Reboot site. We explained that we’re the FCC, not FTC. We directed them to the restrooms.

The CES show itself is a sensory overload. Biggest television monitors, smallest devices with amazing capabilities.  A very big show with lots of attendees and acres of exhibits.

Our experience here was not limited to the exhibit booth. A Saturday panel featuring Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, and Baker included a Q&A session on FCC activities and on Friday, I went to hear the standing-room only session with FCC Chairman Genachowski. It was great to hear our Chairman talk about his desire to bring the FCC into the 21st century.  Judging by the changes we’ve seen so far, I think this goal is well underway.

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