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FCC Chairman Announces Technology Transitions Policy Task Force

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Released: December 10, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

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Washington, D. C. 20554

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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

December 10, 2012
Justin Cole, 202-418-8191


Washington, D.C. – FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski today announced the formation of an
agency-wide Technology Transitions Policy Task Force under the leadership of Sean Lev, the
Commission’s General Counsel, who will serve as Interim Director, and Rebekah Goodheart, Associate
Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, who will serve as Deputy Director.
Chairman Genachowski said, “The Technology Transitions Policy Task Force will play a critical role in
answering the fundamental policy question for communications in the 21st century: In a broadband world,
how can we best ensure that our nation’s communications policies continue to drive a virtuous cycle of
innovation and investment, promote competition, and protect consumers?”
The nation’s broadband transition means that communications networks are increasingly migrating from
special purpose to general purpose, from circuit-switched to packet-switched, and from copper to fiber
and wireless-based networks.
Among other issues, the Task Force will coordinate the Commission’s efforts on IP interconnection,
resiliency of 21st century communications networks, business broadband competition, and consumer
protection with a particular focus on voice services. The Task Force will also consider recommendations
from the Technological Advisory Committee on the PSTN Transition, coordinate with the NARUC
Presidential Task Force on Federalism and Telecommunications, and evaluate the feedback from the
Commission’s pending field hearings on Superstorm Sandy.
The Task Force will conduct a data-driven review and provide recommendations to modernize the
Commission’s policies in a process that encourages the technological transition, empowers and protects
consumers, promotes competition, and ensures network resiliency and reliability.
Chairman Genachowski said, “Technological transitions don’t change the basic mission of the FCC. But
technology changes can drive changes in markets and competition. And many of the Commission’s
existing rules draw technology-based distinctions. So the ongoing changes in our nation’s
communications networks require a hard look at many rules that were written for a different technological
and market landscape.”
“We anticipated and addressed many of these issues in the National Broadband Plan, and we’ve taken
game-changing steps to deliver on its vision, including a once-in-a-generation transformation of Universal
Service and intercarrier compensation and unprecedented efforts to unleash new spectrum to meet
skyrocketing wireless demand. Congress has acted to update our communications laws to keep pace with
the broadband transition, including by enacting the landmark Twenty-First Century Communications and

Video Accessibility Act of 2010 [CVAA] which ensures that individuals with disabilities have access to
today’s communications technologies, and by authorizing the creation of a national interoperable public
safety broadband network. These actions are accelerating and spurring investment in 21st century
communications networks. But there’s still significant work for the Commission to do.”
The Task Force will include the Commission’s Chief Economist and Chief Technology Officer, as well as
representatives from across the agency, including staff from the Wireline, Wireless, Media, Consumer
Affairs, and Public Safety Bureaus, as well as the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Strategic
Planning and Policy Analysis.
News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found
on the Commission’s web site

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