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7/17/2009
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FCC Puts Focus On Wireless Broadband

Objective is to expand access to more Americans and aid in job creation by promoting wireless and broadband technologies.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has begun to put his stamp on the agency and much of it is labeled "wireless broadband."

Genachowski this week announced four members of the FCC Wireless Bureau senior staff and all four have experience in wireless technologies and issues. In addition, Genachowski said Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society will conduct a review of broadband deployment and usage to help the FCC in developing its National Broadband Plan (NBP.)

"As the Commission embarks on the important task of crafting a National Broadband Plan, better data will inform and animate the activities of the agency," said Genachowski in a statement. "The Berkman Center's independent review of existing information will help lay the foundation for enlightened, data-driven decision making."

The coordinator of the NBP for the FCC is Blair Levin, a former FCC official who worked with Genachowski on President Obama's effort to beef up the country's broadband offerings. Levin, who has also been a telecom analyst for investment bank Stifel Nicolaus indicated the Berkman study will survey the existing state of wireless broadband. "Knowing what has already been learned will improve our ability to deliver the best possible National Broadband Plan," Levin said.

During U.S. Senate hearings last month, Genachowski, a former FCC legal counsel with a successful career in business, made it clear that he wants to promote wireless and broadband technologies to expand technology access to more Americans. He also believes wireless broadband will help in job creation for Americans.

The new chief of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is Ruth Milkman, who has been serving as special counsel in charge of the FCC chairman's office transition effort. A former deputy chief of FCC International and Common Carrier Bureaus, she also worked at a Washington law firm.

James Schlichting, who has worked at the FCC for nearly 24 years, was named senior deputy chief of the bureau. Renee Roland Crittendon, an eight-year FCC veteran, was named deputy chief of the WTB and John Leibovitz, a staff member on the Obama Presidential team, was also named as a deputy chief of the bureau.


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