FCC'S TOP GEEK SET TO RETIRE
AFTER 45 YEARS OF PUBLIC SERVICE, THE HEAD OF THE FCC'S OET TO RETIRE AT YEAR'S END
Julius "Julie" P. Knapp, II, for the past 13 years the FCC's Chief Engineer, has announced his retirement from the FCC, effective Jan. 3, 2020. (Conspiracy theorists will note that it is the same date that Deputy Video Division Director Hossein Hashemzadeh is also set to retire).
While many of you only deal with the lawyers of the FCC's Video Division for your LPTV station permits and license renewals, it is the Office of Engineering & Technology (OET), where the laws of physics dictate much of what you may and may not do.
The Office of Engineering and Technology's (OET) mission is to manage the spectrum and provide leadership to create new opportunities for competitive technologies and services for the American public. It maintains the U.S. Table of Frequency Allocations, manages the Experimental Licensing and Equipment Authorization programs, regulates the operation of unlicensed devices, and conducts engineering and technical studies.
Chairman Pai issued the following statement about Mr. Knapp's retirement:
"Julie Knapp is an FCC institution, and I will miss him for his expertise, his leadership, and his friendship. He's delivered incalculable value for American consumers over the years. As just one example, if you have a device that uses the airwaves, the chances are that you're benefiting from Julie's efforts. He's played a key role in all of the Commission's spectrum efforts over many years, from freeing up spectrum for 4G LTE and 5G to making more spectrum available for unlicensed operations like Wi-Fi to encouraging technologies of the future, like wireless medical services. He has also been instrumental in modernizing and streamlining the FCC's equipment authorization process, which helps get new devices into consumers' hands quickly and safely.
"On a personal level, when I think of Julie, I'm reminded of the old advertising slogan, 'When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.' That's because when Julie speaks, everyone listens. Across the federal government and throughout the private sector, Julie is widely respected for his vast knowledge, his ability to explain complex technical concepts in an accessible way, his collegiality, and his candor. As I've seen many times during my tenure as Chairman, his reputation as a solid technical expert and a straight shooter has made him invaluable in resolving numerous challenges facing the FCC that might have otherwise proven intractable."
Julie Knapp helped LPTV and TV translators during both the digital transition and the recent incentive auction process by directing the OET staff to providing key tools and datasets which allowed the consulting engineering community to understand better what might and would not happen to us during these dramatic transitions. Did you know that not one displaced station or construction permit was lost during the current displacement process? Pretty niffy considering all of the doom and gloom which many predicted preauction. And a lot of that goes to the insights and assistance we received from folks at OET, so thanks Mr. Knapp! But just where are you and Hossein off to together on the same day? Enjoy!