Finally the hearings happen, but what a strange love fest. In some ways it reminds me of the old adage, everyone hates congress but loves their congressman (95% of the incumbents got reelected last election).
Future Chairman Genachowski, was praised by Senate Committe Chairman Jay Rockerfeller with the telling line, 'If you do not have the credentials to be the Chairman, I don't know who would".
But the love fest was full of the reminder that all glory was fleeting and within the hearing were statements that made it clear the committee had their priorities of agendas.
The one that caught my ear (and seemed to have a rough concensus), was the desire for a nationwide emergency service system.
NENA is ready with a next generation design that needs funding and it would be interesting to see if somehow the rules for $ 6.7 B stimulus can be modified to include the support of this build out.
Whenever I think of the next generation of 911, I remember what a kludge funding for the existing network was and in this country every state's 911 is testament to how taxation has worked in the past.
Which is why I think the glory for poor Julius is fleeting. The rules are old and the needs are new. Its a bad combination and he will need to be adept at bringing the telecom act of 2010 into some useful model.
Congress wants him to succeed as do I.
Commissioner McDowell was very gracious and put his role in perspective. I was very impressed with his opening remarks.
From Congresses perspective they have a monkey on their back with the issues of media ownership. It was clear that their were expectations of shot clock of 6 months for the approval process for all future mergers and acquistions.
Like Genachowski, McDowell was given the we want you to succeed despite our conflicting objectives (save the newspapers expand the ownership).
I also want to concur with the praise of Acting FCC
Chairman Copps, he was the half vote on the pulver order and am glad to have as much of his guidance as possible.
Now that they are about to take their seats I want to put in my own two cents on their priorities. I want to echo Senator Hutchison's call for the unserved to take priority over the underserved when it comes to broadband. The Yellow spots on the map can fit into the definition of underserved even though if you were to use the cable model of homes passed the bandwidth is greater than the need. Fix the problem for the unserved first. The underserved need solutions that are not directly associated with high cost and the need for tax dollars. (imho A few rules in support of network neutrality might do the trick).