U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, (D-Va.), will assume the chair of the House Telecom Subcommittee after previous chair Rep. Edward Markey, (D-Mass.), stepped down to take control of the new Energy and Environment Subcommittee. Boucher has been involved in the telecom industry for some time, and is an outspoken advocate of widespread broadband buildouts to rural areas.
Calls to Boucher's office for comment on his appointment have not been returned. We will update when we receive comment from his office.
Boucher also supports net neutrality, and he sponsored a bill to overhaul the Universal Service Fund, which stalled in committee. As part of the Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee, Boucher sponsored legislation that would expand the definition of fair use, which can't sit too well with entrenched content giants like the big four music companies and movie studios.
Boucher is currently serving his 13th term in the House, and has served on the Telecom Subcommittee for several of them. He originated the House Internet Caucus in 1996 and currently serves as co-chair of the group, which has an integral role in shaping IT and Internet policy, according to his website biography. In addition to his work in telecom, Boucher sits on the Consumer Protection, Trade, Commerce, and Judiciary Committees. He previously was Chairman of the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee. Prior to his time in the House, Boucher was a lawyer in Virginia and New York and served in the Virginia State Senate for seven years.
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