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STATEMENT: OTI: Obama Must Nominate FCC Chairman Who Will Promote Public Interest

Resigning Chairman Failed to Address Fundamental Problems and Challenges
Published:   March 25, 2013

Washington, DC —  On Friday, March 22, the current chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, announced that he will step down from the post.
 
The following statement can be attributed to the Open Technology Institute:
 
"As the Obama Administration looks to pick a replacement, it must recognize the severe mismanagement and lack of progress that occurred under the current FCC chairman and nominate a strong advocate for the public interest. The next chairman will face significant challenges with respect the global competitiveness and availability of U.S. broadband, a diverse media system that provides for the information needs of the nation and communities, and strong rules that fundamentally protect free speech, opportunity, innovation, and the public's privacy and security online. This will require a chairman who will represent the need and interests of the public, and not defer to the demands of big telecom and media companies."
 
The following statement can be attributed to Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute:
 
"Given President Obama's pledge to keep lobbyists out of key government positions, it's unconscionable for the president to be considering the head of not one, but two, separate industry lobbying groups for the chairmanship of the FCC. It's time for the Obama Administration to add balance to the FCC -- after decades of industry-backed chairmen, it's time to have a strong consumer advocate and public interest representative at the helm."
 
The following statement can be attributed to Benjamin Lennett, policy director of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute:
 
"As broadband prices continue to increase, competition declines, and millions of American lack access to the 21st century equivalent of electricity, the administration must nominate a chairman that will prioritize the needs of the public. The Administration's support for universal and affordable broadband, strong open Internet rules, and unlocked phones will all be for naught if it nominates another FCC chairman unwilling to take on industry giants."

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