FCC Chairman Genachowski to announce resignation Friday, report says

The agency's chief has served since early in President Obama's first term

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski reportedly plans to resign, ending a four-year term marked by significant efforts to expand wired and wireless broadband services across the U.S.

The chairman will announce his resignation on Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday, citing a Federal Communications Commission official. A representative from the chairman's office declined to comment.

Genachowski was nominated by President Barack Obama at the beginning of Obama's first term in 2009. His departure would not come as a major surprise, because it's common for cabinet officials to leave after the end of a reelected president's first term. Obama was inaugurated for his second term in January.

Genachowski has remained active this year on one of the major themes of his tenure, that of making more radio spectrum available for mobile data use. In early January at International CES, he announced a plan to increase the unlicensed spectrum available for Wi-Fi by about 35 percent.

During his term, the FCC also prepared the National Broadband Plan in 2010. A key objective of the plan is to bring 100Mbps (bit-per-second) Internet service to 100 million U.S. homes by 2020.

A Harvard Law School classmate of Obama, Genachowski had served as chief counsel to former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt under President Bill Clinton. He also co-founded LaunchBox Digital, a tech investment firm.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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