FCC names new Wireline Competition Bureau chief

Sharon Gillett has resigned as chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission.

Julie Veach has been named to take her place, effective June 30, the FCC announced.

Veach joined the FCC Office of General Counsel in 2009 and is currently deputy general counsel.

Before that, she served as deputy chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, where she worked on "efforts involving broadband, competition, and data gathering and analysis."

Veach joined the FCC in 2001, after serving as an associate at the Washington-based law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.

The FCC said Gillett plans to relocate to the Boston area. She was previously director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute and headed the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable.

At the Wireline Competition Bureau, she led the overhaul the FCC's Universal Service Fund (USF), including efforts to streamline and reduce the cost of pole attachments along with revamping the High Cost, Lifeline, Link UP and E-rate programs, the commission noted.

Additionally, she and her staff worked on the CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL)-Qwest and Frontier-Verizon (NYSE: VZ) transactions.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski praised Gillett for her service.

"Sharon is one of a kind and the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau could not have been in better hands over the past three years," he said in a statement. "Her outstanding leadership, including on the once-in-a-generation overhaul of the Universal Service Fund and so many other important policies, have significantly helped our country, ensuring more Americans will have access to robust, affordable broadband and voice services."

Veach, he added, is expected to bring "tremendous expertise in telecommunications law, thoughtful insight and leadership" to her work on such likely thorny issues as broadband funding opposed to voice funding; competitive video offerings from over-the-top players, and, perhaps most importantly, the FCC's ongoing activities surrounding net neutrality and broadband access.

For more:
 - see the FCC release

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