Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced today that he will step down from the job in the coming weeks.
According to the Washington Post, Genachowski, a law school buddy of President Barack Obama, has received mixed reviews for his work as FCC chairman. During his tenure, the broadband Internet market consolidated, and the price of cable, wireless and broadband Internet rose.
On the other hand, he supported small companies and consumers by leading the agency’s rejection of AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile in late 2011, the Washington Post reported.
Ultimately, Genachowski was a disappointment to consumer advocates, Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the media reform group Free Press, said in a statement.
“Genachowski claimed broadband was his agency's top priority, but he stood by as prices rose and competition dwindled,” Aaron said. “He claimed to be a staunch defender of the open Internet, but his Net Neutrality policies are full of loopholes and offer no guarantee that the FCC will be able to protect consumers from corporate abuse in the future.”
In remarks to FCC staff this morning, Genachowski said he was proud of how the agency expanded access to broadband Internet on his watch.
“To connect all Americans to broadband, we adopted a landmark overhaul of multi-billion dollar universal service programs, modernizing them from telephone to broadband and creating the Connect America Fund and the Mobility Fund, an unprecedented commitment to broadband infrastructure,” he said. “And thanks to you, the commission’s employees, we’ve taken big steps to build a future where broadband is ubiquitous and bandwidth is abundant, where innovation and investment are flourishing.”