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Genachowski Says Ownership Rule Review Should Be Done By Year's End

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Wednesday that his goal was still to get the FCC's quadrennial review of media ownership rules done by year's end.

That came in a press conference following the FCC's public meeting launching its aggressive broadband implementation agenda, which will also take up much of its time and attention.

A wide-ranging issue teeing up media ownership issues is currently circulating among the commissioners.

The chairman said he had nothing to add on a timetable for an FCC response to the Bittorrent decision, beyond saying lawyers were working on a solid legal foundation. Asked why he had no timetable, the chairman said he had "excellent" lawyers working on that solid foundation and that he would tackle those legal issues "as we have to." He conceded the decision creates more work for the commission, but suggested it would get done.

He said staff was talking to a lot of people, including stakeholders, about what to do next. Asked whether he thought an industry compromise on a legal path forward was a possible solution, Genachowski would not comment.

The court overturned the FCC's network management smackdown of Comcast over its impeding/blocking of BitTorrent file sharing, saying it had not sufficiently justified its authority to do so. Genachowski said he hoped no implementation elements in the plan would be delayed by the court decision.

The FCC has stopped the clock on its review of the Comcast/NBCU merger to collect more info from the parties, including on Internet video. Asked about how important he thought Internet video competition was and its impact on mergers, the chairman said he wasn't commenting on specific transactions under active review, but did say that, in general, video competition is "very important."