Report: FCC chairman Genachowski to leave regulator

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is expected to announce sometime today that he will step down.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal citing anonymous industry and FCC sources, his departure means that there will be two open seats on the commission. Earlier this week, commissioner Robert McDowell also announced he was leaving the regulator.

However, Genachowski's office would not provide a comment to WSJ.

Since he was appointed by Barack Obama, a law school classmate in 2009, he oversaw a number of key wireline initiatives in his four year tenure with the regulator including net neutrality, Universal Service Fund (USF) reform, and the Broadband Stimulus Act.

Genachowski introduced the Connect America Fund (CAF), for instance, as a way to modernize the Universal Service Fund (USF) and intercarrier compensation (ICC) programs by redirecting funds to focus on expanding broadband availability to over 18 million consumers who live in "price cap" areas that currently get no broadband service.

One of the candidates that rumored as a top candidate to take Genachowski's place is Tom Wheeler. Wheeler is best known in the telecom industry as the president of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), and later as CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).

In addition to Wheeler, there are at least three other possibilities that could take the regulator's top job: Karen Kornbluh, US ambassador to the OECD; Catherine Sandoval, a member of the California Public Utilities Commission; and Lawrence Strickling, the Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more:
- Wall Street Journal has this article (sub req)

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