Kaplan to step down as FCC wireless bureau chief, Milkman to retake position

Kaplan to step down as FCC wireless bureau chief, Milkman to retake position

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is set to change leadership as current chief Rick Kaplan will be replaced by former chief Ruth Milkman in mid-June. Kaplan had succeeded Milkman just one year ago.

There was no word from the FCC on Kaplan’s future.

“For the past three years, Rick Kaplan has been critical in helping us navigate some of the most
challenging, complex, and important initiatives at the agency – starting with the DTV transition to all
things wireless to complex merger and acquisition reviews,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in a statement. “As my chief counsel and then chief of the wireless bureau, Rick worked tirelessly to develop sound policy and to unleash innovation, economic growth and broad opportunity. Rick used all of his considerable skills – from his deep knowledge of the issues, to his strong strategic vision, and even a terrific sense of humor. We will miss his leadership at the agency.”

Kaplan’s leadership also coincided with the government’s eventual dismissal of AT&T’s attempted $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA that would have cut the number of nationwide wireless operators to three; the LightSquared spectrum controversy that recently resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy protection; and Verizon Wireless’ current attempt to acquire 1.7/2.1 GHz spectrum holdings from a number of cable companies.

Milkman, who was wireless bureau chief from 2009 to 2011, spent the past year serving as special counsel to the Chairman for Innovation in Government, and with her new position is expected to continue working on the implementation of the incentive auctions program.

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