Facebook hires former FCC chair to add regulatory muscle

May 12, 2015, 11:59 PM UTC
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg Hosts Internet.org Summit
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during the Internet.org summit in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Zuckerberg said a lack of relevant local language content is the biggest barrier to the 4.4 billion people globally who don't have Internet access. Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Udit Kulshrestha — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Facebook’s latest hire has some serious regulatory experience, which could help the social networking giant as it works to bring free Internet access to more parts of the world.

Kevin Martin, a former Federal Communications Commission chairman, has been named Facebook’s (FB) vice president for mobile and global access policy, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Martin chaired the FCC for four years, starting in 2005 under President George W. Bush, after serving another four years as a commissioner for the federal agency. He left the FCC in 2009 to join the Aspen Institute, a think tank, and he most recently led the telecommunications practice as a partner at law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

Martin served as a consultant to Facebook for the past two years, according to Bloomberg, with the former regulator advising on matters related to wireless spectrum and mobile Internet.

Facebook is currently developing its Internet.org initiative, which is intended to bring Internet access to developing countries through the use of satellites and drones. As Bloomberg noted, the company will likely rely on Martin’s regulatory experience as it works with overseas governments.

Facebook has already run into some issues with Internet.org overseas, including last month when net neutrality supporters in India criticized the project for limiting free Internet access to only a handful of content providers. Last week, Facebook responded by saying it would open the Internet.org platform to any developers who meet the company’s technical guidelines.

For more about Facebook’s free Internet initiative, watch this Fortune video:

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