updated 07:26 pm EDT, Wed May 1, 2013
Telecom enthusiastic about new chair, Wheeler's stances on industry unclear
As rumored yesterday, President Obama has nominated former wireless lobbyist Tom Wheeler to replace outgoing FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. An acting chair has also been named to serve until the Congressional approval process is complete -- Mignon Clyburn, four-year veteran of the agency will stand as head of the agency in the interim.
Wheeler is now a venture capitalist, and has led the National Cable Television Association, followed by a stint as the head of the mobile industry group's Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) from 1992 through 2004.
AT&T calls Wheeler an "inspired pick to lead the FCC." The industry giant said it hopes that Wheeler will rid the administration of "antiquated rules" and "outdated laws." In a blog post by AT&T's Senior Executive VP Jim Cicconi, the company said that "the mission of the FCC in the 21st Century must be re-examined, and its rules and methods modernized. In this situation, I can think of no nominee more talented or whose leadership skills are more needed. Moreover, Mr. Wheeler will be joining a complement of fellow commissioners who are equally formidable and well suited for this important moment in the FCC's history."
Comcast had similar praise for the nominee, saying that "We congratulate Tom Wheeler on his nomination as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. His vast knowledge of the communications industry, as well as his proven leadership, will be invaluable as the Commission sets its course for our nation's digital future. We applaud President Obama's nomination and we look forward to working with the Commission under Tom's leadership."