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FCC Chair Forms Task Force To Consider Broadband Issues

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

By Alexei Alexis  

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski Dec. 10 announced the formation of a task force to examine agency policies relating to the burgeoning broadband industry.

After conducting a “data-driven” review, the agency-wide Technology Transitions Policy Task Force will provide recommendations to modernize commission policies in a way that encourages the nation's broadband shift, empowers and protects consumers, and ensures network resilience and reliability, according to a statement.

An FCC spokesman told BNA that the review will be comprehensive and could touch on consumer privacy issues.

“[T]he ongoing changes in our nation's communications networks require a hard look at many rules that were written for a different technological and market landscape,” Genachowski said in the statement.

Concerns Targeted.

Among other areas, the task force is expected to coordinate the FCC's efforts on IP interconnection, resiliency of 21st century communications networks, business broadband competition, and consumer protection with a particular focus on voice services.

The team will include the commission's chief economist and chief technology officer, as well as representatives from across the agency, including staff from the Wireline, Wireless, Media, Consumer Affairs, and Public Safety bureaus, as well as the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, the agency said.

Sean Lev, the commission's general counsel, is expected to serve as task force interim director, and Rebekah Goodheart, associate chief of the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau, is expected to serve as the new group's deputy director.

Genachowski noted that similar technology issues were addressed during the development and implementation of the FCC's National Broadband Plan (76 TCM, 4/22/10). “But there's still significant work for the Commission to do,” he added.

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