The FCC appears to be on track in establishing a new leadership regime, as the Senate Commerce Committee approved the nominations of Mignon Clyburn and Margaret Attwell Baker to the commission. Now Clyburn and Baker have to be approved by a full vote in the Senate, which reports say could come as early as today. Currently, Clyburn is a member of South Carolina's public service commission, while Baker oversaw the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). These new nominations follow last week's appointment of a new General Counsel and managing director.
But these appointments appear to reflect FCC chairman Julius Genachowski's desire to create a more open environment--something critics argue did not exist during the Kevin Martin FCC regime. Part of that new attitude is that the commissioners are considering a plan to reduce the fees and taxes levied on the telecom industry to support the FCC's activities. Such a fee reduction is music to the ears of the American Cable Association, which argues that by reducing these fees it would enable smaller cable operators, those with fewer than 5,000 subscribers, to get better wholesale rates to so-called middle mile providers that provide interconnection services to the Internet. Additionally, the ACA said it would like to see the FCC provide funding to upgrade middle mile interconnection networks to Internet backbones so smaller cable operators can extend higher broadband data speeds to more rural customers.
- CED has this article
Genachowski appoints FCC managing director and general counsel
Genachowski sworn in as FCC chairman, and challenges await