The FCC’s next CTO is an expert on net neutrality

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The CTO position at the FCC demands a person who is technically proficient in networks and the Internet, and also one who isn’t afraid to get neck-deep in policy making. At least that’s what the past has shown. The last CTO, Henning Schulzrinne, played a central role in the commission’s ruling that all mobile carries had to support 911 calls via text message. Now the FCC has announced the name of a new CTO — Scott Jordan, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Irvine.

The Federal Communications Commission has announced that it has named a new chief technology officer: Scott Jordan, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Irvine. The FCC has a history of hiring CTOs that know their stuff, technologically speaking. Jordan is replacing Henning Schulzrinne, a once and future chair of the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University who started at the commission in 2011 and will stay on in an advisory capacity. The role of CTOs in government can often be muddled, but at the FCC it is squarely a policy-making job. Schulzrinne, Chairman Tom Wheeler pointed out in announcing Jordan’s appointment, played a major role in the commission’s decision to require mobile carriers to support customers’ abilities to contact 911 using text messages. Looking forward, Wheeler said in a statement, “Scott’s engineering and technical expertise, particularly with respect to the Internet, will provide great assistance to the Commission as we consider decisions that will affect America’s communications platforms.”

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