Summary:

After nearly four years as FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski is stepping down in “coming weeks”. President Obama will now get to appoint two new commission members in his second term.

FCC Chairman Julis Genachowski

Julius Genachowski will step down as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, confirming press reports Thursday of his planned resignation. An FCC statement on Friday said he would depart in “coming weeks” even though his term expires this year.

President Obama nominated Genachowski to the commission in 2009, where he oversaw some fairly momentous -– and controversial — FCC actions: the creation of the National Broadband Plan, the quashing of AT&T-Mo and the approval of Verizon’s plan to cooperate with the cable companies on residential broadband.

Here’s the full text of Genachowski’s statement:

“Over the past four years, we’ve focused the FCC on broadband, wired and wireless, working to drive economic growth and improve the lives of all Americans. 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.

“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.

“To unleash the enormous opportunities of mobile, we pioneered incentive auctions and other cutting-edge spectrum policies.

“To fuel America’s innovation economy, we put in place the first rules to preserve Internet freedom and openness.
“To drive competition and empower consumers, we opposed and modified transactions where necessary, deployed technology to drive transparency, and took unprecedented enforcement actions.

“We helped harness the power of digital technologies to give students a better chance, people better health care, and make Americans safer in their homes and communities, while also guarding against digital threats and strengthening cybersecurity.

“Today, America’s broadband economy is thriving, with record-setting private investment; unparalleled innovation in networks, devices and apps; and renewed U.S. leadership around the world.

“While there are challenges ahead in this fast-moving, globally competitive sector, a revitalized FCC is prepared to continue taking them on. I’m deeply grateful to President Obama for his vision, friendship, and the opportunity to serve our country.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done together to harness technology to advance the American dream for the 21st century. I know you’ll continue to fight hard to fulfill this agency’s vital mission, and I look forward to continuing to work together until my last day at the agency, and to count you as family and as an inspiration for long after that.”

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