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New FCC Boss Talking A Lot, But Saying Little
Genachowski's positions on key issues still remain murky...
by Karl Bode 10:56AM Tuesday Jul 21 2009
New FCC boss Julius Genachowski has so far been allowed to skirt confrontation by riding the middle ground, his public discussions on broadband (including at his confirmation) not really choosing sides on a slew of controversial topics ranging from government-subsidized broadband to the need for network neutrality legislation. Other than vague support for select issues, Genachowski's true feelings on the issues remain murky at best.

Such fence-straddling is going to be increasingly difficult as the agency works to craft a new national broadband strategy that actually works. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Genachowski continues his role as the consummate politician -- talking a lot about broadband without really saying anything. For example, here's his answer on whether he'll regulate carriers:
quote:
I spend (sic) the last ten plus years in the private sector after having spent some time in government. Together that's given me I think a respect for the power of private industry to create jobs, to generate economic growth. It's where our innovators and our entrepreneurs live. I have tremendous respect for markets and for market-driven innovation and job creation. I've also learned, through this period, the power of pragmatism. The importance of trying to understand the real facts, the real data in any area. Being very open-minded about where good ideas come from because they can come from anywhere.
When asked about how he hopes to achieve universal broadband penetration:
quote:
One of the things that's most promising about the universal broadband strategy is the opportunity for it to be an enduring engine for job creation and economic growth. One of the reasons I'm excited to be here now is I think we're at a critical point for the next big wave of innovation. This challenge is making sure we have infrastructure in the United States that is an enduring platform for job growth, economic activity, innovation and competition.
You'll probably notice by this point that he's not actually answering any of the questions. It's not just the Wall Street Journal, either. In an interview with the Washington Post, Genachowski "offered few specifics" on regulatory structure, and "did not weigh in on some of the most vexing issues confronting the FCC." Other than chirpy rhetoric on competition and innovation (of which there's been no shortage the last decade), so far the telecom sector isn't getting specific answers on how Genachowski plans to fix things.

Sure, it makes sense for the FCC to wait on more accurate data (not the FCC's forte in recent years) -- and yes, Genachowski has only just been appointed. Still, it's annoying to see the new boss isn't willing to take even the most rudimentary of stands on any key broadband policy issue. It doesn't instill faith in the reform of the FCC from an agency of rhetoric-fueled lawyers and lobbyists who make decisions based on partisan or corporation loyalty --to an agency of technologists who make decisions based on, well, technology, facts and science.

On the positive side, Genachowski at least seems willing to admit there are competitive and penetration issues that need fixing, something that has been difficult in recent years for the well-lobbied FCC.

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Jigsaw
Stardust We Are
Premium
join:2000-10-21
Cleveland, OH

BOHICA

Nuff said...

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Re: BOHICA

said by Jigsaw:

Nuff said...
Yes, what we've got is another lawyer trained since birth to actually never say anything at all. If you say nothing, you can't be accused of lying and you can't be held accountable for promises you have never made.

PS:>> Read the full WSJ Q&A at this link:
»www.google.com/url?q=http://onli···157.html
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page
jaminus

join:2004-10-14
Arlington, VA

Re: BOHICA

Yep, this is a recurring problem with FCC appointments. The two most important elements of communications policy are 1)engineering and 2)economics. Understanding not only how networks work and how they are deployed but also the economics of supply and demand and measuring competition are crucial.

Does Genachowski have an engineering degree or any real technical experience with networks, wired or wireless? Nope. Does he have any training in microeconomics or public choice theory? Nope.

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

Re: BOHICA

Theres a mini-bio at Ars.
»arstechnica.com/old/content/2008···wski.ars

that doesn't make me feel any better.
--
BF69~~~Please stop suffocating gerbils!

mrkevin
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
Premium
join:2007-08-07
Aurora, ME

1 edit

2 recommendations

Typical

He probably doesn't either hear or understand the questions.
This the typical way these people answer questions, by saying what they think the people want to hear.

some of his phases and words:

respect for the power of private industry
create jobs
generate economic growth
respect for markets
market-driven innovation
job creation
opportunity
job creation
economic growth
innovation
job growth
economic activity
innovation and competition

As you see from these two statements it is just a bunch of meaningless babble. I bet he got a list of "key words" to hammer on.

For example:
Job growth
economic growth
innovation

He put's it all together in this answer from the Q&A
the Internet has been the most successful driver of economic growth, job creation and innovation, perhaps, that we've had in the country

We are so in for it. This "stimulus" is going to ruin America. Some day it's going to all catch up with us and we won't have anything left to fall back on.

As Bruce Williams say's
"You cannot borrow yourself into prosperity"
--
An army of sheep led by a lion, will always defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Typical

said by mrkevin:

For example:
Job growth
economic growth
innovation
Sounds like he is a die hard pro-business, who wants to use grants and pork to enrich the regulated.

mrkevin
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
Premium
join:2007-08-07
Aurora, ME

Re: Typical

He sounds like a puppet, I wonder if you can see his strings as he walks
rdmiller

join:2005-09-23
Richmond, VA

Talk Talk Talk

He gave his first interview since taking office and Karl thinks he's talking too much. (I know I've promised several times not to criticize Karl. Can't help it.)

mrkevin
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
Premium
join:2007-08-07
Aurora, ME

Re: Talk Talk Talk

No, the problem is:
He's not saying anything...All the answers sound the same.
I think we need someone in there who knows broadband is not the name for the latest all girl band.
--
An army of sheep led by a lion, will always defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
rdmiller

join:2005-09-23
Richmond, VA

Re: Talk Talk Talk

He's not an idiot like Powell or a pawn like Martin, so the worst label you can apply is that he's too uncontroversial. And he's been on the job almost a month. This is going to be a long four years!

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:38
Talking is fine. Actually saying something while you're talking is important, however.
Expand your moderator at work

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD

1 edit

Re: Talk Talk Talk

said by Karl Bode:

Talking is fine. Actually saying something while you're talking is important, however.
...and everything he responded with was stated like a true politician or lobbyist: skirt the question without answering it directly.
jay_rm

join:2002-04-12
Netville

1 recommendation

Re: Talk Talk Talk

said by PapaMidnight:

said by Karl Bode:

Talking is fine. Actually saying something while you're talking is important, however.
...and everything he responded with was stated like a true politician or lobbyist: skirt the question without answering it directly.
Actually, his entire administration acts like they're still running for election. Note to Dear Leaders: Election over - time to do real work - SOME of your 'subjects' can tell the difference between BS and positive results
--
3500/512 5.7 GHz Motorola Canopy Wireless; FoxValley.net
'It looks just like a Telefunken U47 !'
lesopp

join:2001-06-27
Land O Lakes, FL

1 edit
That's because he's waiting on his puppet master to either pull the strings or put his hand ...

Like all the other half baked promises I've heard in the past six months. This guy won't do anything to help us, only the pres's elitist buddies.

wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY

1 edit

Re: Talk Talk Talk

said by lesopp:

That's because he's waiting on his puppet master to either pull the strings or put his hand ...

Like all the other half baked promises I've heard in the past six months, this policy will not be designed help us only the pres's elitist buddies.
I actually dont think the policies are meant to do anything other than convey the appearance that someone is doing something. The more they (the whole administration) talk about doing things, the less actual work they need to do. Its a great system, keep trying to sell the "dream" (even though the election is a distant memory already), while scrambling behind the scenes to figure out what to do. Want to waste another week, setup a bunch of "meetings" with the press!

EDIT: I should add that the one thing the administration is FANTASTIC at is spending our great grandchildren's money. That and "not raising taxes" (yeah right!) of course.
--
"The only morality they recognize, is what will further their cause"
-Ronald Reagan-
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Talk Talk Talk

Actually in order to help fund the national healthcare plan the government plans to raise $500 billion over 10 years by taxing the rich.

I think the stimulus money has been spent well enough to help stabilize the economy. There's the usual waste and special interest back-scratching that goes along with this much money, but overall the government seems to have done a decent job.

wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY

Re: Talk Talk Talk

said by sonicmerlin:

Actually in order to help fund the national healthcare plan the government plans to raise $500 billion over 10 years by taxing the rich.
Sure thats what they say, but who do you think employs the "poor"? Every business will pass the 'new' cost of doing business on to their customers. This new policy will literally have the opposite effect of the famed "trickle down economics", by actually increasing the costs of goods and services (and raising taxes at the same time).
--
"The only morality they recognize, is what will further their cause"
-Ronald Reagan-

BBBanditRuR
Dingbits

join:2009-06-02
Parachute, CO
Reviews:
·Comcast
Agreed. I need that conviction from him, or else that bleak outlook on BB policy continues with the lip service(s). Even if it is flying in the face of years of FCC "performance", so be it. Please, do something. We (as in RURAL AMERICA) have been waiting. NBC even did a piece on Monday about "LACK" of rural bb.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

waiting

He is waiting for someone to walk in with a suitcase filled with money before he makes up his mind what special interest he will support (remember Google/Net Neutrality is a special interest).
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: waiting

Net neutrality is a "special interest" for the consumer.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: waiting

said by sonicmerlin:

Net neutrality is a "special interest" for the consumer.
I know. Thats why all hope is not lost. There are entities with money and influence behind the consumer on that topic (net neutrality), but only because it meets their capitalistic agenda (3rd party streaming on demand PPV, VOD, and telecomferencing/social networking).