There are, of course, many libertarians in Silicon Valley who see Washington DC as the mortal enemy of innovation. But according to Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by Barack Obama in 2012, Silicon Valley needs to “participate more” in DC. Entrepreneurs “need a referee”, she told me, especially in critical areas like spectrum policy – what Rosenworcel describes as the “consummate scarce resource” that, she insists, is critical for “generating innovation” in our increasingly mobile future.
But just as Silicon Valley needs Washington DC, Rosenworcel acknowledges, the Beltway needs to do a better job working with Silicon Valley which, she says, is “justifiably revered”. And Rosenworcel herself might be a model for a more switched-on legislator who not only is wired into the start-up tech community but is even on Twitter. So rather than spectrum, perhaps, it’s Rosenworcel who is the consummate scarce resource – the cool FCC Commissioner as much at home in Silicon Valley as she is in Washington DC.