Thomas Wheeler nominated to replace Genachowski as FCC chair

May 2, 2013
President Barack Obama has nominated telecom veteran, lobbyist, and venture capitalist Thomas Wheeler to replace the outgoing Julius Genachowski as chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The President also designated FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, as acting chair while Wheeler undergoes confirmation hearings in the Senate.

President Barack Obama has nominated telecom veteran, lobbyist, and venture capitalist Thomas Wheeler to replace the outgoing Julius Genachowski as chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The President also designated FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, as acting chair while Wheeler undergoes confirmation hearings in the Senate.

Wheeler is currently managing director at Core Capital Partners, a venture-capital firm based in Washington, DC, that he joined in 2005. He served as president of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984 and as CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), a post he left in 2004. He is a member of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board; in 2009, Wheeler led the Obama-Biden Transition Project's Agency Review Working Group in charge of transitions for the science, technology, space and arts agencies. He also has founded several communications technology companies.

“Now, if anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame,” the President said in a speech in which he discussed the nomination. “So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.”

Communications industry associations quickly lined up in support of the nomination. “TIA applauds the pending nomination of Tom Wheeler to chair the FCC,” said the association’s president, Grant Seiffert, by way of example. “He has the proven ability to transcend a broad range of industry perspectives to reach balanced outcomes. Given that one of the most important challenges facing the FCC will be assuring a successful television spectrum incentive auction, Wheeler's breadth of experience makes him especially well-suited to lead the FCC at this time.”

“Tom Wheeler is an extraordinary choice to head the Federal Communications Commission – a leader of industry; an architect of communications policy; an innovator in the use of telecommunications technologies to advance education, health care, and the environment,” added USTelecom President & CEO Walter B. McCormick Jr. “While much of his background is in business, his record is one marked by service to others, and his career has been distinguished by success in coupling enterprise with initiatives to lift the less fortunate. It is commendable that he is willing to take on the rigorous duties of the Chairmanship, adding to his previous record of public service as an advisor to the President and to the FCC. We urge the Senate to act expeditiously, and favorably, on his nomination.”

Genachowski’s tenure with the FCC will perhaps be noted primarily for his efforts to extend broadband access to unserved and underserved areas, as exemplified by his work to transform the Universal Service Fund into the Connect America Fund (see “FCC Chairman Genachowski unwraps USF overhaul plans”). He was a supporter of net neutrality as well.

For more information on FTTx equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

Sponsored Recommendations

Coherent Routing and Optical Transport – Getting Under the Covers

April 11, 2024
Join us as we delve into the symbiotic relationship between IPoDWDM and cutting-edge optical transport innovations, revolutionizing the landscape of data transmission.

Data Center Network Advances

April 2, 2024
Lightwave’s latest on-topic eBook, which AFL and Henkel sponsor, will address advances in data center technology. The eBook looks at various topics, ranging...

Supporting 5G with Fiber

April 12, 2023
Network operators continue their 5G coverage expansion – which means they also continue to roll out fiber to support such initiatives. The articles in this Lightwave On ...

FTTx Deployment Strategies

March 29, 2023
Cable operators continue to deploy fiber in their networks at anincreasing rate. As fiber grows in importance, proper choices regardinghow to best fit fiber to the home together...