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Blog Posts by Julius Genachowski

Unleashing America's Invisible Infrastructure

October 21, 2010 - 02:20 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:88:height=93,width=70]]Just last week, President Obama said that to create jobs today and lay the foundation for economic growth and U.S. competitiveness in the future, “We need … a smart system of infrastructure equal to the needs of the 21st century.”

When most people think of infrastructure, they think of visible projects like highways, bridges or high-speed rail.

But just as vital is our invisible infrastructure – the electromagnetic spectrum that travels unseen through the air and enables all of our wireless communications networks, cellular voice and data services, as well as radio, broadcast TV, and satellite.

Wireless innovation fuels economic growth and job creation. Sales of smartphone “apps” – an industry that didn’t exist a few years ago -- topped $4 billion in 2009; our new apps economy has created many jobs and can create more. Our invisible infrastructure also supports breakthrough tools to improve education through mobile online learning and e-books, enhance health care through potentially life-saving remote diagnostics, and promote energy efficiency by supporting the smart grid.

But we are at an inflection point.

The explosive growth in mobile communications is outpacing our ability to keep up. Spectrum is finite. If we don’t act to update our spectrum policies for the 21st century, we’re going to run into a wall – a spectrum crunch – that will stifle American innovation and economic growth and cost us the opportunity to lead the world in mobile communications.

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October's Open Commission Meeting: Empowering Consumers

October 14, 2010 - 06:43 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:88:height=93,width=70]]New technology is an exciting thing, and what's happening in the mobile space is simply incredible. With any new technology, consumers need to be empowered to address concerns quickly and with simple solutions.

During the October Open Commission Meeting we took bold moves on our consumer empowerment agenda. Following the meeting I recorded a video that outlines how the FCC is taking on important consumer issues — like bill shock — to empower and educate Americans.

Watch the video to learn more, then leave your comments below.

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The FCC's Consumer Empowerment Agenda

October 13, 2010 - 04:29 PM


On the way in this morning, I got an email from a friend that rings familiar to way too many Americans.

My friend said that he incurred $2,000 in extra data charges while on a trip overseas, despite buying an "international plan." He added that this was "more than 15 times" what he had expected to pay.

He was a victim of what we at the FCC call "bill shock," and, according to our research, there are 30 million Americans just like him.

Bill shock occurs when consumers see their bills jump unexpectedly by tens, hundreds, or thousands of dollars from one month to the next. Common cases are when a subscriber is charged for unknowingly exceeding his or her allotments for voice, text or data, or gets hit with roaming charges that are unexpected.

A few hours ago, I delivered a speech highlighting what the FCC is doing to put an end to bill shock, as well as other fees and billing practices that are giving consumers headaches.

I'm proud that the FCC is pursuing an aggressive Consumer Empowerment Agenda. In a nutshell, our strategy is to educate, empower, and enforce.

We are working to harness technology and promote transparency to empower consumers with the information they need to make smart decisions and to make the market work. And when there is bad conduct in the market, the FCC has acted, and we will continue to act. Consumers must know that the FCC's got their back.

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Unleashing Spectrum For Mobile Broadband

June 18, 2010 - 04:56 PM






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The Future of Internet Policy in America

May 7, 2010 - 12:59 PM

Read video transcript here.

Cross posted from

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The Third Way: A Narrowly Tailored Broadband Framework

May 6, 2010 - 10:53 AM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:88:height=93,width=70]]Broadband is increasingly essential to our daily lives. It is fast becoming the primary way we as Americans connect with one another, do business, educate ourselves and our children, receive health care information and services, and express our opinions. As a unanimous FCC said a few weeks ago in our Joint Statement on Broadband, “Working to make sure that America has world-leading high-speed broadband networks—both wired and wireless—lies at the very core of the FCC’s mission in the 21st Century.”

Many have asked about the future of Internet policy and the FCC’s role in that future in light of the recent decision in the Comcast case.  Today I have issued a statement that describes a path forward, which will begin with seeking public comment on a narrow and tailored legal foundation for the FCC’s approach to broadband communications services.  Our goal is to restore the broadly supported status quo consensus that existed prior to the Comcast decision regarding the FCC’s role with respect to broadband Internet service.

This statement describes a framework to support policies that advance our global competitiveness and preserve the Internet as a powerful platform for innovation, free speech, and job creation.  I remain open to all ideas on the best approach to achieve our country’s vital goals with respect to high-speed broadband for all Americans, and the Commission proceeding to follow will seek comment on multiple legal theories and invite new ideas.
[This is cross-posted from Blogband]
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America's 2020 Broadband Vision

February 17, 2010 - 06:42 PM


In a month, the Federal Communications Commission will deliver a National Broadband Plan, as it was asked to do by Congress and the President in the Recovery Act.

This will be a meaningful plan for U.S. global leadership in high-speed Internet to create jobs and spur economic growth; to unleash new waves of innovation and investment; and to improve education, health care, energy efficiency, public safety, and the vibrancy of our democracy.

I believe this plan is vitally important to America's future.

Studies from the Brookings Institute, MIT, the World Bank, and others all tell us the same thing — that even modest increases in broadband adoption can yield hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Broadband empowers small businesses to compete and grow and will ensure that the jobs and industries of tomorrow are created in the United States.

The economic benefits of broadband go hand-in-hand with social benefits and the potential for vast improvements in the quality of life for all Americans.

The National Broadband Plan will describe concrete ways in which broadband can be a part of 21st century solutions to some of our nation's most pressing challenges, including:

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