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New Chairman Starts Talking

‘The most important topic is broadband,’ he tells Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal provides some insight into the thinking of the new FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski.

In a Q&A, he told the paper: “The most important topic is broadband. … I’m convinced that broadband is our generation’s major infrastructure challenge, akin to what railroads were, what the highway system was and universal electricity.”

He reiterated his desire to “revitalize and retool” the commission and noted plans for “fact-gathering workshops” on broadband. “The commission has never before pursued a process like that, open and participatory workshops … it has the potential to be a model for how the FCC conducts a lot of business in the future.”

He also said the FCC has “literally millions of pages of documents that should be available to the public,” but are hard to access except in person because they haven’t been digitized yet or they’re not searchable.

Asked to identify his philosophy towards regulation, he said his time in the private sector has given him “a respect for the power of private industry to create jobs, to generate economic growth. It’s where our innovators and our entrepreneurs live.” He said he also learned “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.”

The Journal asked the chairman about media ownership rules. “We will run an open process that will be focused both on the objectives that underline the ownership rules and the real facts that exist in the marketplace with respect to businesses and technological changes,” he replied. “It’s an important area but one the commission will address, as in other areas, in an open, fair process that takes account the goals and objectives of the area and the realities of the marketplace.”

Read it here (subscription required, though you can e-mail the story without one).