recommended reading

The Unfinished Agenda of Outgoing FCC Chairman Genachowski

Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski // Jacquelyn Martin/AP File Photo

Julius Genachowski is out as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Capping off a four-year stint as the country’s top telecom regulator, Genachowski was responsible for pushing network-neutrality rules as well as killing the T-Mobile/AT&T merger of 2011. But he also leaves a lot for his successor to do. Here's what's ahead, over the short, medium, and long terms:

Net neutrality. Although the commission passed a rule in late 2010 prohibiting Internet providers from giving priority to certain kinds of Web traffic, the decision is in the middle of a legal challenge, and a ruling is expected to come down this spring. If the verdict goes against the FCC, service providers will have another opportunity to enact rules on traffic discrimination.

The IP transition. The FCC is overseeing a gradual process in which telecom operators are replacing much of their backbone—the infrastructure responsible for connecting phone calls—with fiberoptic cables. Major service providers have argued that this new system, which operates on Internet protocol, deserves a new set of rules and regulations. Smaller companies, meanwhile, want older copper networks to be preserved to some extent. Whomever succeeds Genachowski will have a large role to play in this battle.

The spectrum auction. In 2014, television broadcasters will be selling off unused parts of the wireless spectrum to the government. Because there’s only so much of the airwaves for companies to send their data over, spectrum is incredibly valuable. Once the auction is complete, Washington plans to turn around and sell some of the spectrum to wireless carriers. They’ll use the new spectrum to build out their cell-phone infrastructure, while the parts the government keeps will be opened up for anyone to use. Exactly how those proportions break down is something the FCC will do a lot to determine.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.