Telecom exec named to head NTIA

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The White House nominated Lawrence E. Strickling to head the Commerce Department’s NTIA, the agency that administers annual rounds of PTFP matching grants to help pubcasters buy equipment. He and Julius Genachowski, the nominee for FCC chair, are both friends of the Obamas from Chicago, the Washington Post pointed out. Both Strickling and Genachowski graduated from Harvard Law and went to the FCC, Strickling as chief of the Common Carrier Bureau and Genachowski as chief counsel. Before serving as policy coordinator in the Obama campaign, he worked at three telecom companies, most recently the optical fiber service provider Broadwing Communications. His new agency, NTIA, will dispense some $4.7 billion in grants for broadband service improvement as part of the stimulus package.