Obama Nominates Net Neutrality Backer for FCC Chief
President Barack Obama nominated on Tuesday Julius Genachowski - a lawyer, techie and former venture capitalist - to head the Federal Communications Commission.
The nomination of Genachowski as chairman was widely anticipated and quickly applauded by proponents of net neutrality, who hope an Obama FCC will move decisively to limit what telecoms can and cannot do with internet traffic on their networks.
Genachowski, a former Harvard law classmate of Obama's, served as Obama's top tech campaign advisor and helped shape the campaign's embrace of having the government create and enforce net neutrality rules.
Gigi Sohn, president of net neutrality-backing organization Public Knowledge, applauded the announcement with a statement showing she's already on a first name basis with Genachowski.
"Julius is an outstanding choice for FCC Chairman," Sohn said. "As the architect of President-elect Obama’s Technology and Innovation Plan, it is clear that he understands the importance of open networks and a regulatory environment that promotes innovation and competition to a robust democracy and a health economy."
Genachowski worked twice previously at the FCC, clerked for Supreme Court Justice David Souter, co-founded a venture capital firm. He also worked for 8 years as an executive for IAC/IAC/InterActiveCorp.
While the FCC has not laid down any strict Net Neutrality rules, the commission ordered Comcast in August not to throttle peer-to-peer traffic. The company is appealing that decision in federal court.
Genachowski, needs to be confirmed by the Senate, replaces Bush's FCC chair Kevin Martin, who House Democrats accused of being heavy-handed.