Wednesday, May 1, 2013

FCC Nominee Wheeler - Former Telecom Industry Lobbyist

Awhile ago – I put up a request for people to sign a White House petition for Susan Crawford to be the new Chair of the FCC

My update to that entry was:
that is exactly what the readers of this entry are doing.

You are going to end up with some DAMN old fart from the Telecom industry running the FCC - because you are choosing not to take this blog entry viral - Shame on you.  Don't you dare complain about Comcast. CenturyLink, AT&T screwing you - here you have the chance to make a major contribution to something  really important and it is evident 5 days later you are choosing to do nothing.  I can't express how f#cking disappointed I am.

In addition to what's great about Crawford, the rumored other contenders for FCC chair are problematic. Tom Wheeler, a total industry guy (he was President and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association) and  Jason Furman, Walmart apologist and National Economic Council member, who doesn't have communications industry experience at all.
Well – looks like we got “some DAMN old fart from the Telecom industry running the FCC”
Get ready to get screwed.
Higher bills - less regulation
By Brendan Sasso - 04/30/13 02:55 PM ET

President Obama on Wednesday will nominate Tom Wheeler, a former telecom industry lobbyist, to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a White House official confirmed to The Hill.

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will be named as acting chairman until the Senate confirms Wheeler, the source said.

Wheeler would succeed Julius Genachowski, who announced his plans to step down as chairman last month after four years on the job.

"Tom Wheeler is an experienced leader in the communications technology field who shares the President’s commitment to protecting consumers, promoting innovation, enhancing competition and encouraging investment," the White House official said, touting the selection.
"protecting consumers"

It's NOT pretty
Telecommunications industry watchers who have expressed misgivings about Mr. Wheeler’s work as a lobbyist point out that he oversaw the National Cable Television Association from 1979 to 1984. That could mean that he would look kindly on companies like Comcast, one of the largest cable and broadband service providers.

Free Press, a group that often opposes telecommunications industry proposals, said the F.C.C. needs as its chairman “someone who will use this powerful position to stand up to industry giants and protect the public interest.”

“On paper, Tom Wheeler does not appear to be that person, having headed not one but two major trade associations,” the group said. “But he now has the opportunity to prove his critics wrong.”

“America continues to face significant telecommunications challenges, including high costs, slow speeds, abysmal consumer protections, and far too many unserved communities. Now, more than ever, we need a FCC Chairman who will serve as a champion for the public interest, take on industry giants, and make the hard decisions necessary to restore American competitiveness,” said Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. “I am skeptical that the former chief lobbyist of the wireless and cable industries will be capable of holding his former clients accountable for their ongoing shortcomings.”
And his background relationships are shady
AT&T and Verizon were then able to create a  sun - setting - the - PSTN ’ group within the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council , (TAC) .

This group is run by Tom Wheeler, who was the former head of the NCTA, the cable association and the CTIA, the wireless association

CTIA – ALEC Corporate Member 2010, 2011, 2012
NCTA - ALEC Corporate Member 2010, 2011, 2012

Heartland Institute


2011 Actual

2012 as
% of


CTIA - The Wireless Association

National Cable & Telecommunications


The philosophies and policies of CTIA and NCTA seem to mesh with extremist right-wing organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council.  That probably didn't just happen.

1 comment:

  1. Shit. We lose again. Looks like Obama has joined the GOP. He didn't want the DOJ to prosecute Wall Street or Bush/Cheney. He wants the chained CPI for folks on SS. He signed the re-authorization of the Patriot Act among other rights-infringing legislation. And now this.