FCC Chairman Calls for More State Versions of C-Span

Julius Genachowski tells the Cable Show that only four states, including California, currently have networks that provide public access to the political process.

NEW YORK - FCC chairman Julius Genachowski on Wednesday encouraged the cable industry to launch state versions of C-Span in more states, calling the channel that provides public access to the political process one of the industry's biggest accomplishments.

In a keynote interview, handled by new NCTA boss and former FCC chair Michael Powell, at the Cable Show in Chicago, Genachowski said only four states - California, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania - currently have state versions of C-Span.

More such networks would help the local "information landscape," which has suffered from reduced local news reporting as highlighted in a recent FCC report, he said. "I encourage the industry...to look really hard at this."

Asked about his approach to the regulation of the media and telecommunications industries, the FCC chair reiterated that there are "no pre-cooked answers" and that the regulatory agency must be "dispassionate."

Genachowski on Wednesday also called the cable industry "one of the great American success stories."

And he said broadband is a key to helping the U.S. recover from recession and have sustainable economic growth.

Cloud-based services lower costs, broadband allows for more efficient marketing, and overall high-speed Internet services lower the costs and increase the jobs at particularly smaller companies, Genachowski argued.