President Barack Obama said Wednesday that Comcast Chairman
Brian Roberts is among the executives he is appointing to the President's
Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Since the council is chaired by Jeffrey
Immelt, CEO of GE, that means that both of NBCU's parents (Comcast owns
51%, GE 49%), will have meetings to attend.
"I am proud that such experienced and committed individuals
have agreed to serve the American people in these important roles. I look
forward to working with them in the months and years ahead," the President
said of the council members in a statement. Roberts blogged about the appointment Wednesday.
Also on the list to join the council is former Time Warner
Chairman Richard Parsons, who was on then President-elect Obama's economic
advisory board back in 2008. The first meeting of the new council will be tomorow (Feb. 24) at the White House.
The President in the State of the Union said the country
needed to out-innovate its competitors, including boosting broadband deployment
and adoption as part of that effort. Comcast is the nation's largest Internet
The council will focus on "finding new ways to promote
growth through investments in American business to equip workers with the
skills they need to succeed, encourage the private sector to hire and invest in
American competitiveness, and attract top jobs and businesses right here in the
Republicans and some ISPs argue that one way to promote
investment and jobs is not to impose network neutrality rules, as the FCC did
in December, with the backing of the administration. Both the FCC and the
administration have said network neutrality rules will provide regulatory
certainty and boost innovation and investment.