circles began reacting Friday afternoon to the news that Sen. Jay Rockefeller
(D-W. Va.), chairman of the
Commerce Committee, would be retiring in 2014 when his current term ends.
has been a champion of children, privacy, cybersecurity, and universal
broadband, as well as FCC content regulation when it comes to protecting kids
and creating broadcast incentive auctions to help fund emergency
have tremendous respect for Sen. Rockefeller, both as a former Senate colleague
and as a friend," said Gordon Smith, president of the National Association
of Broadcasters and a former senator from Oregon. "His passion
for public service is second to none, and NAB looks forward to
working with him over the next two years as he completes a remarkable political
"During his 30 years in the Senate, Chairman Rockefeller has been a strong leader for the people of West Virginia and all consumers, ensuring that schoolchildren everywhere have access to the Internet through the E-Rate program and establishing the nationwide public safety communications network called for by the 9/11 Commission," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who himself was instrumental in implementing the e-rate program while a top staffer at the FCC in the 1990's. "Chairman Rockefeller's fierce advocacy for consumers and unwavering commitment to advancing the public interest have improved the lives of countless Americans. I look forward to continuing to work with him as he completes his term."
"Senator Rockefeller is an extraordinary public servant and a true statesman," said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, former top telecom aide to the Senator. "I was honored to have worked with him on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Over the next two years, I am sure that he will continue to be a guardian of consumers and active on a range of telecommunications issues including the E-Rate program and public safety. I look forward to continuing to work with him."
American Cable Association has nothing but the highest praise for Sen.
Rockefeller, who has been a constant champion to ensure consumers have access
to competitive communications markets and who speaks out when market power
threatens the public interest," said American Cable Association President
Matt Polka. "Rural America has had a terrific
champion in Sen. Rockefeller, and ACA has appreciated working with him over the
Rockefeller's absence from the Senate will be felt for a long time, but ACA
looks forward to engaging with him over the next two years on important
communications issues," said Polka. "We know Sen. Rockefeller will remain
active and speak out on the issues important not only to the State of West Virginia but to all of rural America." Rockefeller
promised as much in announcing his retirement Friday at an event at the State
nearly three decades in the Senate, Senator Jay Rockefeller has championed the
rights of consumers and has served the people of West Virginia with determination
and grace," said Verizon senior VP, federal government relations Peter
Davidson. "His ongoing legacy in the area of telecommunications and
technology - from his early work to create the Universal Service Program to his
more recent spearheading of successful legislation for a nationwide
interoperable public safety broadband network - is profound. Upon his
departure his informed leadership of the complex world of telecommunications
policy will be sorely missed."
"Senator Rockefeller is one of the giants of the United States Senate," said USTelecom President Walter McCormick, Jr. "His leadership on issues of telecommunications, trade, and national security has strengthened our nation, and his commitment to universal service, emergency communications, and public safety has improved the lives of all Americans. We will miss him when he retires, but look forward to having one last Congress to work with him at the helm of the Senate Commerce Committee."