You are on page 1of 2

March27,2013 TheHonorableBarackObama PresidentoftheUnitedStates WhiteHouse 1600PennsylvaniaAvenue,N.W. Washington,D.C.20500 DearPresidentObama: NogovernmentagencyismoreimportanttothefutureofcommunicationsthantheFederal CommunicationsCommission.AstheObamaadministrationlookstonominateanewchairto headtheFCC,itmustrecognizetheseveremismanagementandlackofprogressthatoccurred underChairmanJuliusGenachowskiandchooseastrongadvocateforthepublicinterest. ThenextFCCchairwillfacesignificantchallengesonahostofissues:theavailabilityandquality ofU.S.broadbandtheabilitytocompetegloballyontechnologicalissuesanddevelopmentthe lesseningofmediadiversityandresultinginabilitytomeettheinformationneedsofcommunities andthelackoffundamentalprotectionsforfreespeech,privacyanddatasecurityonline.

These problemsrequireanFCCchairwhowillrepresenttheneedsofthepublicandnotsubjugate theseintereststothedemandsofbigtelecomcompanies,technologyfirms,andmedia corporations. Duringhiselectioncampaign,PresidentObamapledgedtotellthecorporatelobbyiststhattheir daysofsettingtheagendainWashingtonareover. 1 Yetthepresidentisreportedlyconsidering acandidateforthenextFCCchairwhowastheheadofnotonebuttwomajorindustrylobbying groups.Afterdecadesofindustrybackedchairmen,weneedastrongconsumeradvocateand publicinterestrepresentativeatthehelm.ItstimetoendregulatorycaptureattheFCCand restorebalancetogovernmentoversight. Asbroadbandpricescontinuetoincrease,ascompetitiondeclines,andasmillionsof Americanslackaccesstothiscritical21stcenturyinfrastructure,theadministrationmust nominateanFCCchairwhowillprioritizetheneedsofthegeneralpublic.TheObama administration'ssupportforuniversalandaffordablebroadband,strongopenInternetrules,open wirelessplatformsandunlockedmobiledeviceswillallbefornaughtifitnominatesachair unwillingtotakeonindustrygiants. WhereChairmanGenachowskifailedattheFCC,itwasinlargepartbecausehefailedtolisten tothepublicinterestcommunity.Hissuccessormustcommitnotjusttobrokerdealsamong variousindustries,buttoworkwithcivilsocietyorganizationsandactivelyengagethebroader public.
1

Seehttp://change.gov/agenda/ethics_agenda/.

WeexpectthattheadministrationwillputtheFCCbackoncoursetodoitsjobforthiscountry andchooseanomineewhowillprotectthefutureofcommunicationsforall.Andwewillholdthe Obamaadministrationtoaccountifitfailstodoso. Signatoryorganizations, AccessHumboldt AcornActiveMediaFoundation CenterforMediaJustice CommunityMediaVisioning DemandProgress ElectronicFrontierFoundationAustin FightfortheFuture FreePressActionFund GlobalActionProject HighlanderResearchandEducationCenter InstitutodeEducacionPopulardelSurdeCalifornia(IDEPSCA) InstituteforLocalSelfReliance MediaActionGrassrootsNetwork MediaMobilizingProject MountainAreaInformationNetwork(MAIN) NativePublicMedia NewAmericaFoundationsOpenTechnologyInstitute NewYorkTechMeetup PeoplesProductionHouse PersonalDemocracyMedia PrometheusRadioProject Rev SumofUs Ting/Hover TribalDigitalVillageNetwork TucowsInc. UrbanaChampaignIndependentMediaCenter WorkingNarratives