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The Big Chill: Government and Journalism

March 2010

Statement of Patrick D. Maines on D.C. Circuit’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Decision

“The D.C. Circuit Court's decision is obviously correct. However, it is widely surmised (and feared) that, thus rebuffed, the FCC will attempt to get to its desired result – network neutrality, as it's called – by attempting to regulate ISPs, like phone companies, under Title II of the Communications Act.  But in this, as in so many things, the wiser counsel would be to rethink the matter entirely.  It rarely happens that government acts more efficiently than the marketplace, and net neutrality is almost certainly no exception to that rule.”

[NOTE: See full commentary at]

Levin: Reclaiming Spectrum for Broadband Puts FCC on ‘Right Side of History’

Top FCC broadband advisor Blair Levin said March 26 that he believed the national broadband plan's proposal to reclaim spectrum from broadcasters – and other incumbent users – put it on "the right side of history" and was one of the parts of the plan he was most proud of.  His remarks came in an interview with C-SPAN's “Communicators” series.  Asked about industry concern over the FCC "controlling Internet services," Levin said that it was an important debate, and one that was outside the broadband plan's focus.  However, he also said: "From a planning perspective, we think there has to be a government agency – and we think the FCC in a lot of cases is the right government agency – that has the jurisdiction to make sure that broadband is everywhere.”

Genachowski Sees ‘Restrained’   
Role in Broadband Rollout

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says the government has a crucial but "restrained" role in the rollout of broadband, and should focus with "laser-like" precision on solutions.  That is according to prepared testimony for his appearance March 23 before the Senate Commerce Committee.  He talks about the support the plan has gotten from a cross-section of industry players, and says the plan is fiscally prudent, including touting the billions in revenue that could come from opportunities for new spectrum auctions "exceeding any funding or investments that the Plan suggests for Congressional consideration."  Among others, the FCC is looking to broadcasters to give up at least 120 MHz of spectrum for auctioning, whose estimated value is in the billions of dollars by itself.  The chairman echoed his belief that broadband is the key to job growth.  

FCC “Future of Media” Initiative

FCC Media Conference, Dec. 15, 2009

FTC News Media Workshop, Dec. 1-2, 2009

'Creative Destruction’ or Just 'Destruction':
How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?

Opening Remarks by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz » Read More

Waxman: Government Has Role in New Journalism Model » Read More

FTC List of Public Comments Received
» Read More