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You and the FCC Chairman discuss the Future of the Internet

By Steve Grove

Head of News and Politics

Earlier today, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Julius Genachowski sat down for an exclusive YouTube Interview, right on the heels of the FCC’s announcement of a National Broadband Plan -- the agency’s strategy to deliver high-speed Internet to more Americans across the country. You might be surprised to learn that -- even though the Interent was invented in the U.S. -- broadband penetration in the states is considerably lower than many other developed nations. Chairman Genachowski’s YouTube Interview is part of a series of conversations we’re having with public figures in which citizens submit and vote on their favorite video and text questions on CitizenTube. Earlier this year we spoke with President Obama in the White House, and engaged with leaders of Congress after the bipartisan health care summit.

You can see the entire interview posted below. Chairman Genachowski answered Brooklyn-ite Elizabeth Stark’s question on cost by saying the FCC needs to eliminate all barriers to competition so more Interent providers can compete and drive down prices. When Evslin in Vermont asked about rural broadband access, the Chairman said the FCC will take funding currently allotted for rural phone lines and instead use it to provide broadband to rural communities. And when Michael Tapp asked if broadband should be considered government infrastructure or a commercial service, the Chairman shied away from calling the Internet a fundmental right -- but he did say that all Americans “need to have access to this critical infrastructure.”

All in all, the Chairman took 17 questions, including two lightning rounds of “F-C-Caesar,” in which the Chairman gave a thumbs up or thumbs down to more straightforward “yes” or “no” questions posed by users. 

You can submit your feedback to the National Broadband Plan on, or feel free to leave a comment about the interview on the YouTube video itself.

More and more world leaders are coming to YouTube to speak directly with citizens about important events, so stay tuned for more interviews in the future. We’d love to know you who’d like to hear from next.