FCC Commissioners bid farewell to departing Chairman


All four of departing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s colleagues at the Commission had kind words for him as he gets set to head out the door. He will of course have company in that, as one of the colleagues, Robert McDowell, is also on the way out.

* FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell: The announced departure of my friend and colleague, Julius Genachowski, as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, brings to a close a historic era of thoughtful and energetic policymaking. Although occasionally we disagreed, sometimes profoundly, he leaves office with my utmost respect.  He proved that through hard work, persistence and creativity, bipartisanship and compromise in policymaking can occur in Washington, even in these days of sharp divisions and gridlock. Since becoming Chairman, he has been an eloquent and effective advocate for repurposing valuable spectrum to meet the needs and demands of American consumers.  The results may not come to fruition for years, but many of his efforts in the wireless sector will help spur investment, innovation and economic growth. Additionally, he reformed many of the Commission’s processes, including enhancing information flow throughout the agency. The American people should know that Julius Genachowski has been a dedicated public servant who relentlessly sought consensus in pursuit of what he thought was right for the country.  It has been a privilege to serve with him.  I offer him and his beautiful family my best wishes in their future endeavors.

* FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: For his tireless efforts to push our nation to the front of the global broadband market, I applaud Chairman Julius Genachowski. Under his leadership, the Commission has employed creative approaches to promoting greater deployment and adoption of fixed and mobile broadband services, established clear rules of the road for an open Internet, spurred innovation and investment in broadband service and applications, and is off to a terrific start towards conducting the world’s first-ever voluntary incentive auction. Having spent a number of hours with the Chairman for nearly four years, I am keenly aware of his devotion to strategic and sensible regulation. He is pragmatic, driven, and pushes companies and their executives to do better – and try harder – in the quest for the optimal consumer user experience with technology of all forms. The Chairman has been extremely adept at crafting original ideas and forging essential alliances to get all Americans online in order to narrow our nation’s digital divide. The Commission will continue, I am confident, to follow along those well-laid paths he has provided us for years to come. I will miss Julius Genachowski, who in a relatively short period of time has become a trusted and dear friend. We are all richer and wiser from the collaborative engagement. I wish him the very best.

* FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: It has been a privilege to work with Julius Genachowski. His announcement of his departure from the Federal Communications Commission is a loss for the agency, and for me personally. I first met Julius several years ago. When he was nominated to the Federal Communications Commission, I had the privilege of helping support his confirmation by the United States Senate. After assuming the Chairmanship of the agency, Julius hit the ground running. He is responsible for developing our first national broadband plan. To his credit, he did more than create a plan, he took this blueprint and used it to bring broadband and make high-speed services more accessible to more Americans. To this end, he updated our universal service system, helped launch Connect2Compete, and expanded the ways we think about broadband service by highlighting its use in small business, healthcare, education, and much more. He also relentlessly highlighted the need for additional spectrum to fuel the growing demand for wireless services. As a result, on his watch the agency just started a proceeding to put in place incentive auctions designed to facilitate the voluntary return of airwaves that will be repurposed for new mobile broadband use. But his efforts went beyond broadband. Under his leadership, the agency has increased it’s data-based decision-making, enhanced transparency with respect to political advertising, and improved the consumer wireless experience. His smarts and hard work have increased the productivity of this agency across a wide range of issues. He has been a good colleague and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

* FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai: During his tenure as Chairman, Julius Genachowski has led the Federal Communications Commission with grace and dignity. I will always be grateful for the warmth of his welcome when I joined the Commission last May, and it has been a privilege to work with him in the months since on a wide range of issues. In particular, Chairman Genachowski deserves great credit for highlighting the need to make additional spectrum available for mobile broadband. Whether the issues we have faced are challenging or mundane, Chairman Genachowski consistently has made a genuine effort to find common ground. I have no doubt that this spirit of collegiality and open dialogue will serve him well in the future. Chairman Genachowski deserves our thanks for his many years of public service. I wish him and his family the very best.