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IP: PhillyTech May 2000 Dave Farber
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Sun, 07 May 2000 06:50:47 -0700


Dave Farber

By Jill P. Capuzzo

Penn professor brings his wit and wisdom to the nation's capital

Dave Farber is that rare breed of technology expert who can actually make 
laymen understand what he's talking about, even when he's explaining his 
complex research in ultra high-speed networking or predicting the workings 
of the fully digitized home of the future. That's a good quality to have, 
especially in his new capacity as chief technologist for the Federal 
Communications Commission (FCC), where he spends a lot of time translating 
highly technical material for a group of people whose main language is 

The feisty, 65-year-old University of Pennsylvania professor of 
telecommunications signed on with the FCC for one year (although he admits 
they'd be happy to have him stay longer) during which time he hopes to 
bring them up to speed on what he calls "the generation of the Internet." 
Since he began his stint in January, Farber says he has been most 
surprised by the quality and intent of the people at the FCC.

"I've always seen them as policemen, or in the pay of X or Y, but you go 
inside and there's a great public spirit to the place. They're trying to 
do what's right for the country while operating in a very complicated 
space," said Farber, who recognizes the necessity of a FCC as "parental 


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