Julius Genachowski Stepping Down As FCC Chairman

IT Management

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Julius Genachowski has served as FCC Chairman since his appointment in June 2009. Over the years, he has spearheaded a number of projects, including the ambitious National Broadband Plan. Now he's leaving that all behind.

The New York Times reports that Genachowski has announced his resignation from the FCC this morning. He's expected to formally leave the Commission in the coming weeks.

This isn't the first departure from the FCC in recent weeks. Commissioner Robert M. McDowell recently announced that he would be leaving the Commission after serving since 2006. Both departures leave the FCC with two open spots that are to be filled in the coming months.

Aside from the National Broadband Plan, Genachowski's departure throws the fate of other FCC pet projects into question. For one, the FCC was trying to sell unused TV airwaves to mobile carrier operators. Broadcasters resisted the sale, however, and it remains to be seen if Genachowski's successor will continue to push for the sale.

Another plan with an unclear fate it the City Gigabit Challenge. It pushed for each state to offer at least one gigabit network by 2015. It could be just the kick the Internet needs in the US, but his successor may not encourage such an endeavor.

Despite such concerns, Genachowski is confident in the FCC's ability to continue its work:

“While there are challenges ahead in this fast-moving, globally competitive sector, a revitalized FCC is prepared to continue taking them on. I’m deeply grateful to President Obama for his vision, friendship, and the opportunity to serve our country. I’m proud of what we’ve done together to harness technology to advance the American dream for the 21st century. I know you’ll continue to fight hard to fulfill this agency’s vital mission, and I look forward to continuing to work together until my last day at the agency, and to count you as family and as an inspiration for long after that.”

Hopefully that work includes delivering broadband to the 19 million Americans who still don't have it.