FCC Chairman Genachowski announces plans to step down


Following weeks of speculation, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced today that he would be holding a meeting with staff members to inform them he would be leaving his position in the “coming weeks.”

Genachowski’s announcement follows that of fellow commissioner Robert McDowell, who announced earlier this week that he would be leaving the FCC “sometime soon.”

Washington, D.C., observers were expecting an announcement from Genachowski, with some noting the approval process for bringing on an expected Democratic chairman and Republican commissioner would likely happen in parallel.

Genachowski was initially sworn in as chairman in 2009, having been nominated by the Democratic administration of President Obama. Genachowski has been touted for bringing a more open view into the FCC and a pro-consumer leaning to FCC decisions. A few of the major wireless initiatives handled under Genachowski’s watch was the implementation of the National Broadband Plan that seeks to free up 500 megahertz of new spectrum to support commercial services and the implementation of the tower-siting shot clock.

Genachowski’s FCC also denied AT&T’s $39 billion attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA in a move most noted set a precedent that the government agency was in support of at least four nationwide wireless operators. However, the FCC has approved a number of spectrum deals that have allowed those operators to bolster their operations.

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Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
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Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”