On the also critical issue of competition among providers of wireless
services in the U.S., Genachowski expressed some satisfaction
with an increase in the number of competitors in the last two years, but
was dismayed that the related area of fiber to the home remains
dominated by two providers, Verizon and AT&T. Overall, he said, more
competitors are needed in the fast-growing sprawl of mobile
"Competition is the lifeblood of the free market
economy," said Genachowski. "The less competition, the more the
government has to do to compensate for what competition could
The FCC chief extended the issue of competition
to other countries that are constraining the competition of ideas by
trying to censor or ban content conveyed through the Internet. "There is
a censorship threat, as countries around the world that don't believe
in freedom recognize that open communications networks are a challenge
In such cases, Genachowski noted, companies that
provide Internet content get pressure to limit the flow of information
that Americans expect to be completely unfettered. China, among others,
filters the Web, denying blocks of content that the country's leaders
deem unsuitable for the public, largely for political reasons. Service
providers in China have little choice but to comply.
the United States," he said, "Internet service providers want to solve
their business model challenges by changing the business model of the
Internet. You see non-democratic regimes arguing for that."
reiterated the FCC's position, which was supported by Congressional
action, to prevent any filtering of Internet content. "That's very
dangerous," he said, noting that public discourse and capitalism both
benefit from the full flow of information. "Business models built around
openness and Internet freedom are creating a place for investment and
innovation" in the U.S.
Genachowski recalled that, four years ago, when he first
visited CES during the recession year of 2009 , he spoke to an industry
analyst who said that innovation was withering in the U.S.,
describing it as a "nuclear winter" for new ideas and technologies. But
since then, he noted, "Investment and innovation is up both on the
service and applications side and on the infrastructure side."
credited Genachowski's tenure at the FCC for freeing up the
possibilities of wireless communication and reviving a spirit of
innovation in consumer electronics. Genachowski underscored that point
by noting that today 42 percent of Americans are using either a tablet
device or an e-reader, compared to "literally zero" four years ago. He
added, "The U.S. now leads the world in 4G and in mobile innovation."
And, with a ninja flourish, he concluded, "You'll never lose money betting on American innovation, even in Las Vegas."