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Obama Puts Well-Known Internet Advocate in Charge of FCC Review

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, November 14 2008

Is this a peek into how the how the Obama Administration plans to handle the Federal Communications Commission when it comes to town in January? The Obama-Biden transition team has just named the staunchly pro-Internet Susan Crawford its co-lead in the review of the powerful FCC. Crawford, a leading expert on communications policy, is the founder of OneWebDay, called "an environmental movement for the Internet ecosystem." She was, until recently, also a member of the board of directors of ICANN, the organization charged with overseeing some of the Internet's operations.*

MORE: Wired's Sarah Lai Stirland has a good look at the sort of change in the Washington telecom world Crawford and her co-lead, former FCC counsel for "new technology policy" Kevin Werbach, might represent. Sarah has a great line, citing a session at this year's Technology Policy Summit:

[I]n a final statement that's likely to send shivers down the spines of telecom company executives, she [Crawford] said that she believes internet access is a "utility."

The cable and phone companies who operate the series of tubes that make up the Internet's infrastructure would much rather deal with a government them as providers of a commercial service, like any other, so it's shivers indeed.

* Updated to reflect the face that Crawford ended her term on the ICANN board last week.

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