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Blog Posts by Julius Genachowski

The Necessity of an Inclusive, Transparent and Participatory Internet

November 30, 2012 - 02:47 PM

On the eve of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), we believe that it is the right time to reaffirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to the multistakeholder model as the appropriate process for addressing Internet policy and governance issues.  The multistakeholder model has enabled the Internet to flourish.  It has promoted freedom of expression, both online and off.  It has ensured the Internet is a robust, open platform for innovation, investment, economic growth and the creation of wealth throughout the world, including in developing countries.

There are those who may suggest next week in Dubai - and in future venues where Internet policy is discussed - that the United States controls the Internet. Alternatively, they may suggest that in the future governments alone should run the Internet.  Our response is grounded in the reality that this is simply not the case.  The Internet is a decentralized network of networks and there is no one party – government or industry – that controls the Internet today.  And that’s a good thing.

The Internet’s  decentralized, multistakeholder processes enable us all to benefit from the  engagement of all interested parties. By encouraging the participation of industry, civil society, technical and academic experts, and governments from around the globe, multistakeholder processes result in broader and more creative problem solving.  This is essential when dealing with the Internet, which thrives through the cooperation of many different parties.

The global community has many serious topics to discuss with respect to the Internet.  Collectively, we need to ensure that these matters are taken up in suitable multistakeholder venues so that these discussions are well informed by the voices of all interested parties.

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Connect America Fund Kicks Off in Rural California and Nevada with Frontier Communications

by Julius Genachowski, FCC Chairman
July 30, 2012 - 05:12 PM

Today, the FCC kicked off the first announcement of Connect America fund deployment in the nation with events in rural California and Nevada.  At ribbon-cutting events, I was joined by Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderotter and met local residents, tribal, and business leaders that will benefit from the opportunities high-speed Internet will deliver to these areas.  In these areas, broadband build-out will happen thanks to Frontier Communications, the first carrier to accept Connect America funding.

My first stop was Alpine County, California, a 100 percent rural county with the smallest county population in the state, where broadband has recently been built out for more than 600 homes and small businesses in the area. Here I met local business, firemen, and other public safety officials, who told me how broadband has improved their lives.  I also met a local grandmother, who is now able to download photos of her grandchildren, and appreciated that broadband does truly ‘connect’ America. I also saw the Washoe Tribal Community, where tribe leaders told me how more than 200 members of their community now have access to high-speed Internet.

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FCC and FEMA: How to Communicate Before, During and After a Major Disaster

September 21, 2011 - 11:46 AM

By Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Ask anyone who has lived through a significant disaster what that experience was like and – without a doubt – one of the things some people are likely to recall is how difficult it was to communicate from their mobile phones with friends, family and emergency services like 911 in the immediate aftermath.

Many of us were reminded of this last month, when both a 5.8 magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irene struck parts of the East Coast. People immediately reached for their phones to call loved ones or 911.  Unfortunately, in some cases, loss of power made communication difficult.

The FCC and FEMA are doing everything we can to empower the public to be prepared for all emergencies (you can visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov to learn more).  But one of the lessons learned from that August earthquake was that we can do more to educate the public about the most effective ways to communicate before, during and after a disaster. 

Today, we are pleased to release a set of new, easy-to-follow tips to help all Americans prepare their homes and mobile phones for a disaster.  These tips are practical things everyone can do to better preserve the ability to communicate effectively during – and immediately after – a disaster. 

While we don’t have control over when or where the next disaster will strike, we do have control over what we do to prepare.  Check out these tips and please, take one more step and share it with your networks. Use Twitter, Facebook, email or a good old-fashioned phone call to help us spread the word – and help more Americans get ready before the next disaster strikes.

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Bringing Broadband to Rural America: The Home Stretch on USF and ICC Reform

August 8, 2011 - 01:46 PM

Since we voted unanimously in February to frame a path forward for fiscally responsible reform of the Universal Service Fund’s high-cost program and intercarrier compensation system, the Commission has been diligently reviewing comments, engaging with stakeholders, crunching numbers, and refining proposals. Three public workshops were held, including one in Nebraska. And we’ve met with the diverse participants in the universal service and intercarrier compensation system, including state officials; consumer advocates; phone companies and broadband providers of all sizes; Internet content and application developers; and many others. Indeed, since February, the staff and Commissioners have held more than 400 stakeholder meetings on these issues and we’ve received more than 900 comments.

As part of this effort, we challenged stakeholders to come to us with serious proposals that reflected the core principles set forth in February. We are pleased that several parties, including the state members of the Joint Board on Universal Service and a group of large and small telephone companies and associations, have worked hard to present comprehensive reform proposals.

To assist in our review of these and other proposals, last week the Wireline and Wireless Bureaus released a Public Notice requesting comment on specific aspects of the proposals and on additional issues that are not fully developed in the record. We encourage parties to focus their feedback on the specific questions the Bureaus have raised.

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Announcing: Emergency Mobile Alerts

by Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
May 10, 2011 - 11:04 AM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:88:height=93,width=70]]Today, I am honored to be at the World Trade Center site with New York City Mayor Bloomberg, FEMA Administrator Fugate, and the heads of the nation’s largest wireless carriers to announce an important initiative to harness the power of communications technology to enhance public safety and save lives.

The Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN)is a new technology and service that will turn your mobile device into an emergency alert device with potentially life-saving messages when public safety is threatened.

How will it do this? PLAN will allow government officials to send text-like alerts to everyone in a targeted geographic area with an enabled mobile device. Since the alerts are geographically targeted, they will reach the right people, at the right time, with the right messages.

PLAN creates a fast lane for emergency alerts, so this vital information is guaranteed to get through even if there’s congestion in the network.

This new technology could make a tremendous difference during disasters like the recent tornadoes in Alabama where minutes – or even seconds – of extra warning could make the difference between life and death. And we saw the difference alerting systems can make in Japan, where they have an earthquake early warning system that issued alerts that saved lives.

Today, we are announcing that AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have put PLAN on the fast track.

Thanks to a public-private collaboration with the FCC, FEMA, wireless carriers and the city of New York, PLAN will be up and running in New York City by the end of the year – at least two quarters ahead of schedule.

By next April, it will be deployed in cities across the country by not only the carriers represented here today, but also by many others, including Leap, MetroPCS, and USCellular.

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Making Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation Reform Happen

March 15, 2011 - 11:58 AM

When we voted unanimously to approve the USF/ICC Transformation NPRM last month, each of us made clear that we are committed to reforming the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) system, and to doing so as soon as possible. We must eliminate waste and inefficiency and modernize USF and ICC to bring the benefits of broadband to all Americans. We can’t afford to delay.

As part of our process, today we’re announcing the first of a small number of open, public workshops to identify solutions to key issues in the USF/ICC proceeding. This first workshop at the FCC on April 6th will focus on ICC issues. At least one of the others will be held outside of Washington, DC, and all of them will be live-streamed on the Internet and will enable online participation. More details on the workshops will be released soon.

At these workshops, we’re looking forward to robust discussions with a diverse group of stakeholders. And we’re expecting participants to come prepared with responses to our reform proposals—and/or proposals of their own—that recognize that reform will entail compromise and shared sacrifice, as well as shared opportunity.

In addition to the workshops, we of course encourage parties to file comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). As a reminder, the first comments on certain issues are due on April 1, and the last reply comments are due on May 23. While the NPRM included many reform ideas, there may be others that merit consideration as well. We remain open to considering all ideas put forth in the workshops and comments.

Once the record is complete in late May, we look forward to moving to an Order within a few months—it’s going to be a busy spring and summer.

The time is right to make reform happen, and to do so through an open, public, and participatory process.

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The Broadband Economy: A New Land of Opportunity

by Julius Genachowski, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
January 1, 2011 - 12:31 PM
The role that high-speed Internet plays in peoples' lives, in our quest for knowledge, in our economy and in our democracy exceeds even the wildest dreams that people had 15 years ago.

 

 

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New Rules for an Open Internet

December 21, 2010 - 03:08 PM

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Almost everyone seems to agree that the openness of the Internet is essential -- it has unleashed an enormous wave of innovation, economic growth, job creation, small business generation, and vibrant free expression.

But for too long, the freedom and openness of the Internet has been unprotected. No rules on the books to protect basic Internet values. No process for monitoring Internet openness as technology and business models evolve.

No recourse for innovators, consumers, or speakers harmed by improper practices. And no predictability for Internet service providers, so that they can effectively manage and invest in broadband networks.

Earlier today, that all changed.

As a result of a vote, which was just taken by the FCC, we have -- for the first time -- enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness.

The rules we have adopted are straightforward, and they enshrine a set of key principles.

First, consumers and innovators have a right to know the basic performance characteristics of their Internet access and how their network is being managed. We have adopted a transparency rule that will give consumers and innovators the clear and simple information they need to make informed choices in choosing networks or designing the next killer app.

Second, consumers and innovators have a right to send and receive lawful traffic -- to go where they want, say what they want, experiment with ideas -- commercial and social, and use the devices of their choice. Our new rules thus prohibit the blocking of lawful content, apps, services, and the connection of devices to the network.

Third, consumers and innovators have a right to a level playing field. No central authority, public or private, should have the power to pick winners and losers on the Internet; that’s the role of the commercial market and the marketplace of ideas.

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Preserving Openness to Protect Jobs

December 3, 2010 - 01:47 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:88:height=93,width=70]]The impact that Internet entrepreneurs have made on the world is unquestioned.
These businesses push the limits of innovation and move America's economy forward, bound only by their imagination as they grow and expand their reach. This free spirit of creativity doesn’t just make new tech, it also helps create new jobs.
Small businesses and start-ups have accounted for more than 22 million new American jobs over the last 15 years. And broadband has played a central part, enabling small business to lower their costs and reach new customers in new markets around the country and, indeed, the globe.
As these businesses grow stronger, they make room for new jobs that help America compete in the global technology marketplace. Take eBay, for example, which in its short history has been a force multiplier for economic production, facilitating 60 billion dollars a year in economic activity.
The animating force behind all of these efforts is a shared appreciation for the Internet’s wondrous contributions to our economy and our way of life. Over the past generation we’ve seen American-made Internet innovations connect people across the globe. Social networking tools, online video services, and other new tech haven’t just changed the way we stay in touch -- they’ve helped create a booming sector of unbound creativity and economic opportunity.
I’ve learned a key lesson from these entrepreneurs and their businesses. Their spectacular growth is powered by a core value, one shared by the founders of our nation and the architects of the Internet: restrictions on freedom shackle the human spirit, and constrain the promise of bold, new ventures.

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Preserving a Free and Open Internet

December 1, 2010 - 11:16 AM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:88:height=93,width=70]]After months of hard work we have reached an important milestone in the fight to protect a free and open Internet for all Americans. 

Today, the FCC proposed basic rules of the road to preserve the open Internet as a platform for innovation, investment, job creation, competition, and free expression. If adopted later this month, these basic rules will mean several things for consumers, namely:

  1. Americans have the freedom to access lawful content on the Internet, without discrimination. No one should be able to tell you what you can or can’t do on the Internet, as long as it’s lawful. Our rules will ensure that no central authority—either corporations or government—have the right to decide what you can access on the Internet. 
  2. You have a right to basic information about your broadband service.  Our proposed framework will ensure that consumers have information they need to make informed choices about subscribing or using broadband networks. 
  3. The Internet will remain a level playing field. The ability for consumers to speak their mind, engage in commerce and innovate without permission from a corporation has enabled the Internet’s unparalled success.  Our rules will protect against corporate gatekeepers prioritizing access to one person’s content over another’s.

The openness of the Internet has enabled unparalleled innovation and job growth, yet we continue to find examples of this freedom being attacked. We have found instances when broadband providers position themselves as gatekeepers to the Internet, and have prevented consumers from using applications of their choice without disclosing what they were doing.

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