A supporter of net neutrality principles and of making broadband affordable across the United States is expected to be nominated as the next head of the Federal Communications Commission, according to numerous reports.
U.S. president-elect Barack Obama is expected to nominate his technology adviser, Julius Genachowski, to the position, replacing outgoing chair Kevin Martin, according to the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
Genachowski, who helped craft Obama's technology policy during the U.S. presidential campaign, is a former chief counsel for the FCC and is currently a venture capitalist in Washington.
Genachowski is considered a supporter of net neutrality — the principle that the internet should be kept open and free from interference or restrictions from service providers such as throttling of download speeds or shaping traffic so some applications work faster than others.
He has also been an opponent of media consolidation and an advocate of affordable broadband.
Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, a media advocacy group promoting universal access to communications, and diverse and independent media ownership, praised the potential selection.
"We share Obama's goals of creating a more diverse, democratic media system and providing fast, affordable, open internet access for everyone," he said in a statement. "We greatly look forward to working with Mr. Genachowski to put the president-elect's plan into action."
University of Ottawa's Michael Geist, the Canada Research chair in internet and e-commerce law, couldn't speak about Genachowski in particular, but said what happens in the U.S. can impact Canada's own efforts to define its net neutrality stance.
"If Obama follows through with the promise to introduce net neutrality legislation, the pressure on Canadian elected officials to take action is sure to grow," Geist told CBC News.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is also taking calls for submissions until February to its probe into the issue of throttling.
The probe is expected to take place this summer.