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Questions Senators Should Be Asking Julius Genachowski

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Questions Senators Should Be Asking Julius Genachowski

Commerce Committee to Consider Obama’s Nominee to Chair Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C., June 16, 2009—This afternoon, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science & Transportation will hold a confirmation hearing on Julius
Genachowski, President Obama’s nominee to be Chairman of the Federal
Communications Commission.  As the FCC begins to form its “national
broadband plan for our future,” the Chairman will play a major role in shaping
the future of U.S.
telecom and media policy.

“Mr.
Genachowski will prove to be a wise choice if he recognizes the private
sector’s primacy in expanding consumer options and is aware of the harms stemming
from centralized regulation of the telecommunications marketplace,” said Wayne Crews, Competitive
Enterprise Institute Vice President for Policy. “To the extent Mr. Genachowski
perpetuates unnecessary FCC involvement in communications and speech, or
extends the commission’s reach to new turf, he is a bad choice."

“Rather
than favoring any particular business model, government should be rolling back price
controls on broadband lines and reforming spectrum allocation rules so that the
market has greater competition, not more regulation,” said Crews.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute suggests the following questions
for Mr. Genachowski to shed some light on his views on the role of the market in
broadband and media:


What do you consider to be the FCC’s role in ensuring freedom of speech on the
airwaves? How do you reconcile existing and proposed media regulations like
broadcast localism rules, ownership restrictions, and the fairness doctrine
with the First Amendment?


Do you believe that spending public funds on broadband is a wise use of
taxpayer dollars? Do you believe that every American, no matter where they
live, has a right to high-speed broadband access, regardless of the cost?


How successful do you believe the private sector has been in deploying
broadband to U.S.
homes and investing in network infrastructure? Do you believe that FCC line
sharing rules promote investment in broadband networks?


What do you think the FCC should do regarding the AWS3 spectrum (the
2155-2180mhz band)? Do you support Kevin Martin’s proposal to encumber that
spectrum with restrictions on services, prices, and content?

— What can the FCC do to promote
facilities-based competition? How can the FCC streamline the municipal video
franchising process to enhance consumer choice in terms of both video and
broadband services? 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government.  For more information about
CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.