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

Accidentally leaked credentials / Software vulnerability

Cloudflare Bug Leaked Passwords, Dating Chats and Other Sensitive Info for Months

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

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

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

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