Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) announced plans last week to reconstitute the Senate Communications and Technology Subcommittee that had been disbanded since 2005. Former presidential candidate John Kerry (D-MA), the current head of the Senate Science, Technology and Innovation Subcommittee, will serve as communications subcommittee chairman with Senator John Ensign (R-NV) as ranking member. Welcoming the appointment, Kerry—a strong advocate of net neutrality—outlined his goals in a column written for a Capitol Hill publication, declaring, “we need to make sure that we are promoting an Internet that is open, transparent, and does not discriminate with respect to how consumers use it.” Among Kerry’s other priorities are (1) an examination of the universal service fund “to determine how the nearly $7 billion in annual cross-subsidies can be best used in a world where communications technology is increasingly dependent on the Internet” and (2) a review of national spectrum policy “to determine whether we can encourage innovation in wireless broadband deployment in a more efficient way.” Kerry is also expected to play a lead role in efforts to reinstate the media fairness doctrine that was abolished by the FCC in 1987.