Tom Wheeler confirmed as new FCC chief

By Roy Blanchard, Tech Times | November 2, 10:03 AM

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The U.S. Senate has confirmed Tom Wheeler as the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Wheeler, who is 67, was nominated for the position by Barrack Obama in earlier this year. He replaces Julius Genachowski who stepped down as the chairman in May this year. Michael O'Rielly has also been confirmed as a member of the commission by the Senate. O-Rielly replaces Robert McDowell who left FCC earlier in May 2013.

Wheeler has vast experience in various sectors of the communications industry. He worked with a venture capital firm investing in technology. He is also a former telecommunications lobbyist running the National Cable Television Association.

Wheeler also spent 12 years as the head of Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) and has experience in the government. He has also worked as a member of the FCC's Technological Advisory Council.

"What excites me about this new responsibility is how we are at a hinge moment of history; the Internet is the greatest communications revolution in the last 150 years. We must all dedicate ourselves to encouraging its growth, expanding what it enables, and assuring its users' rights are respected," said Wheeler said in a statement late Tuesday.

Wheeler's experience as a venture capitalist in the private sector may have proven as an advantage for his election as a chairman of the FCC.

"Tom Wheeler will be a strong advocate for consumers and the public interest at a time when the FCC is facing decisions that will shape the future of our nation's telephone network and the wireless, broadband, and video industries," said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.).

Wheeler, as a new chairman of FCC, will have a list of issues to deal with, including getting more wireless spectrum into the market. FCC is also involved in a lawsuit with Verizon Wireless, over the agency's Net neutrality regulations. 

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