Joho the Blog » Tough love for Jules Genachowski

Tough love for Jules Genachowski

Harold Feld, who I consider to be one of the essential commenters on FCC issues, has written a “tough love” post, urging FCC Chair Jules Genachowski to take decisive action and lead the FCC. I agree. I think JG can do great things at the FCC. He should do them beginning now.

My hunch — and it’s nothing more than that — is that JG is trying to lead in the Obama-esque way: according each side its dignity and trying to find common ground. I support that when it has a possibility of working. I supported that even when it failed for Obama, because it was important to remind Americans that strong leadership doesn’t mean contemptuously disregarding those who disagree with you. But I also supported Obama when, after giving reconciliation a more than generous effort, he stood firm and acted.

It’s time for Genachowski to stand firm and act at the FCC. He has a vision for the Internet as a place where small voices speak and where new ideas get a fair chance. He understands the Internet as a potentially transformative force in culture, business, education, and democracy. He will not achieve his vision by compromising with those who view our Internet as their delivery channel for commercial content.

Jules Genachowski can have a transformative impact. It is far from too late for that. The Genachowski FCC can clear the way for the Internet — our Internet — to achieve its transformative possibilities for culture, business, education, democracy. I believe in Genachowski’s vision. I trust his intentions. I hope he will act.

7 Responses to “Tough love for Jules Genachowski”

  1. What problem exists now that prevent “small voices” from being heard? What actions do you think the FCC should take? Right now, anyone can get a free or cheap site, and people willing to dive in deeper can get inexpensive VPS systems, so they can host anything. Posting video and audio has never been easier.

    What “problem” does the FCC need to solve?

  2. Lack of access. Outrageously high prices. Pressure to permit discrimination by providers based on type, source, etc. Media consolidation.

  3. Well, let’s see:

    Lack of Access: If you live in the middle of nowhere, don’t expect urban services

    Discrimination: Shining light on abuses works better than the kind of regulatory capture that we see in other highly regulated fields. Like, say, finance

    Media Consolidation: Are you serious? There are more and better news sources now than ever before. I fail to see a problem.

  4. I would love to see some debate about the possibility the problem is not Mr Genchowski, but the institution of the FCC itself.

    The multi-decade track record of the FCC seems relatively thin on transformative decision making in favor of the public interest.

    Wi-Fi was a happy accident.

    One needs to go back 30+ years to the original Computer Inquiries, Carterphone, and MCI to find decisions achieved in favor of the public interest over the opposition of corporate interests.

    The FCC subsequently worked against the breakup of AT&T before and after 1984.

    Consider the example of Lessig’s “Creative Commons” as a more affirmative approach to change rather than passively waiting for powerful policy makers to do the right thing.

  5. “Shining light on abuses works better than the kind of regulatory capture that we see in other highly regulated fields.”
    Let’s see, after the abuses are apparent to everyone I wonder what the next step could possibly be?

  6. johne, the next step is the kind of fake solution we see in the financial reform bill. The feds produce something to shut up the masses, while leaving the big players alone. That’s how it works. In the abstract, regulation can work. IN our system as it functions now, it simply doesn’t.

    Heck, look at the housing mess. Overly loose credit got us where we are, and what are they doing now? Pushing no money down loans to low income people in order to gin up the housing market.

    The FCC will, left to its own devices, deliver “network neutrality” along the lines preferred by Verizon, AT&T (et.al.). It’ll be trumpeted as something else, and the useful idiots – and in this case, Dave W. is one of them – will cheer.

  7. (Name calling is beneath you, James. Stop it.)

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