The welcome mat for new FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and Republican commissioner Michael O'Rielly continued to roll out late Tuesday and early Wednesday after both got a whirlwind confirmation vote in the Senate Tuesday night.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
“I congratulate Tom Wheeler and Mike O’Rielly on the Senate’s confirmation of their nominations to serve on the Federal Communications Commission. The fresh perspectives and experience they bring to the agency will assist our efforts to promote innovation and investment in the communications marketplace. I look forward to working with Tom in his new role as Chairman and with Mike as a fellow Commissioner as we confront the many challenging issues ahead. I also commend Chairwoman Clyburn for her leadership of the agency over the course of the past several months.”
FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
“I congratulate Tom Wheeler and Michael O’Rielly on their confirmations by the Senate to the Federal
Communications Commission. Tom Wheeler will bring to the Commission a long history of experience in the communications sector that will undoubtedly contribute to his effectiveness as Chairman of the agency.
Michael O'Rielly also will bring communications policy knowledge to his new role as Commissioner.
“I look forward to working with both Tom and Mike as we tackle the communications issues facing our
country—once again as a full Commission.
“Finally, I would like to thank my colleague Mignon Clyburn for keeping the agency moving forward with
strength and grace during this interim period.”
"We applaud the Senate on the confirmations of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly. Chairman Wheeler takes the helm of the FCC at a critical time where action is required to reallocate spectrum for wireless broadband and other services," said Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro. "Our nation needs strong FCC leadership to make this goal a reality. CEA and its more than 2,000 member technology companies look forward to working with Chairman Wheeler, Commissioner O'Rielly and the full FCC on spectrum reallocation and other issues vital to innovation and our nation. We thank and congratulate Acting Chairwoman Clyburn for her terrific, honorable and exemplary leadership as Acting Chairwoman."
T-Mobile SVP Tom Sugrue issued three separate statements covering all the bases. On Wheeler: “[He] has been a strong voice in the telecom field for over 30 years and we believe his creative talents and thoughtful leadership are just what the doctor ordered to propel additional expansion of mobile broadband and ensure a competitive wireless marketplace for years to come.” On O'Rielly: “His deep experience and expertise in technology issues will be an asset, particularly as the Commission moves to place more spectrum into the market. On exiting acting chairwoman Mignon Clyburn: “T-Mobile applauds Mignon Clyburn on her successful term as Acting Chairwoman of the FCC. Clyburn has been a vocal advocate for competition in the wireless space, most notably by negotiating a successful end to the 700 MHz interoperability challenge. We look forward to continuing to work with her on matters of importance to wireless competition and consumers.”
Chip Pickering, spokesman for the Broadband Coalition (competitive business broadband [special access] providers), put in a pitch for competitive acces to advanced services.
“With Tom Wheeler at the helm, the FCC will shift into high gear. The Broadband Coalition strongly believes in policies that protect and preserve the future of competition, access and innovation. We look forward to working with Chairman Wheeler, new Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and the entire FCC toward these goals.
“The Broadband Coalition would also like to praise the work of interim Chairperson Mignon Clyburn. She has proven herself to be a true defender of competition. A genuine consensus builder who helped move the agenda forward with a keen eye toward technology that lifts all boats for consumers.
“Chairman Wheeler will serve the FCC at a time of unparalleled technological change. Affordable rates and access to networks have enabled the competitive community to bring new innovations to market, including VoIP, Ethernet and the cloud."
The American Television Alliance, a coalition of cable ops, satellite companies and others, which has been pushing for retrans reform, said that the "experience and backgrounds of both men make them excellent additions to the Commission and all Americans stand to benefit from their service."
Broadband for America
Broadband for America said that their "experience makes them uniquely qualified to help modernize FCC policies so they continue to encourage the massive private investment in broadband infrastructure our economy needs, and on which the American people depend. We thank acting Chairwoman Clyburn for her productive leadership over the past several months. We look forward to working with Mr. Wheeler and Mr. O'Rielly to ensure that the FCC’s policies continue to encourage the type of private investment and innovation that has made the Internet revolution possible."
Free State Foundation
"I am pleased that the Senate has confirmed Tom Wheeler and Michael O'Rielly as FCC Commissioners, and I wish them well as they assume their new positions," said Randolph May, president of the Free State Foundation, which has been seeking free market-oriented regulatory reform.
"With a new Chairman and Commissioner on board, the FCC will have a full complement of commissioners for the first time in many months. The agency has important work to do, most especially in accelerating the transition to digital broadband networks and in conducting a successful spectrum incentive auction.
"With a newly reconstituted set of commissioners, and a new Chairman, the FCC has an opportunity to reorient itself away from its legacy pro-regulatory mindset. The Commission has an opportunity to recognize, more than it has in the past, the power of marketplace competition to protect consumers and stimulate investment and innovation. It should seize the opportunity."
The Parents Television Council pointed out that both Wheeler and O'Rielly indicated in their nomination hearings that they would enforce indecency laws, and PTC "now expect[s] them to fulfill their promise."
“We expect that they will put the interests of children and families first as they work on broadcast indecency issues," said PTC. "We know that Mr. Wheeler agrees with millions of Americans that there’s an indecency problem on the public airwaves. As the leader of the FCC, we trust that he will enforce the current law as he is obliged to do,” said PTC President Tim Winter."
“I congratulate Tom Wheeler on his confirmation as our next FCC Chairman," said Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.). "Tom brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the FCC that will be important for addressing many of the challenges facing America’s innovation economy. Among other issues, I look forward to working closely with him to meet our spectrum demands, both with the upcoming incentive auction and through the auction of the 1755-1780MHz band, and continuing to address our nation’s digital divide.
“I would also like to commend Mignon Clyburn for her strong leadership at the FCC during the interim period. She worked diligently and moved forward many important issues impacting competition and innovation in the marketplace.”
“On behalf of our nation’s State regulators, we would like to congratulate Mr. Wheeler and Mr. O’Rielly on their confirmations," said National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) President Philip Jones. "They are joining the FCC as the agency faces numerous important decisions that will profoundly impact the telecommunications marketplace. A strong federal-State partnership is essential to ensure market competitiveness and strong consumer protections. We look forward to working with Mr. Wheeler, Mr. O’Rielly, and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and Pai.
“On a personal note, we’d like to thank and applaud Acting Chair Clyburn. She addressed several tough issues during her chairmanship, most notably inmate calling reform and call-completion problems. She has always served our nation well, and in her role as Chair she leaves a lasting legacy. There is no doubt consumers are better off because of her service.”
“I commend the Senate for approving the nominations of Tom Wheeler for Chairman and Michael O’Rielly as Commissioner of the FCC. Both are widely respected for their experience and knowledge in communications issues," said AT&T SVP James Cicconi.
“There’s no doubt that this FCC possesses the skills and leadership to tackle the major issues facing our industry, first and foremost the transition to next-generation, Internet-enabled services and networks. All of us at AT&T are excited to see both positions confirmed. We know all five commissioners will play a key role at this pivotal time in the FCC’s history.
“I would also like to commend Acting Chairwoman Clyburn for her superb work in leading the agency over the past several months. She has guided the agency with skill and care, and has a track record of significant accomplishments in a very short time. That’s impressive for any chairman, and I know she’ll continue to contribute to the FCC’s success.”
“Tom Wheeler is known for his integrity and fair-mindedness," said MMTC President David Honig stated. "With his leadership, we are certain that diversity, equal opportunity, and inclusion will be top priorities at the FCC. We look forward to working closely with him and the commissioners to advance minority participation in the nation’s most influential industries.”
"MMTC warmly commends Mignon Clyburn for her extraordinary achievements as Acting Chairwoman. Last week she took steps to overturn the antiquated, 101-year-old rule barring foreign investors from owning more than a 25% stake in a domestic broadcast station, which hampers minority entrepreneurship in broadcasting."
"[We] congratulate Mr. Wheeler and Mr. O’Rielly on their confirmations to the FCC," said COMPTEL, which represents competitive communications carriers. "We look forward to working with them and the full Commission as they continue to focus on issues that are critical to preserving and promoting competition in the communications industry, such as modernizing the agency’s last mile access policies, finalizing special access reform and promoting IP interconnection for voice services. COMPTEL is confident that the Commission, under Mr. Wheeler’s leadership, will strive to ensure consumers have access to the provider of their choice, which will spur investment, advance innovation, stimulate the U.S. economy and generate more American jobs.
We also would like to thank Chairwoman Clyburn for her leadership at the agency. Her commitment to fostering competition and protecting consumers has been evident throughout her tenure."
Rep. Henry Waxman
Ranking House Energy & Commerce Committee member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) added his congratulations for the newcommissioners, and for clyburn's stewardship.
"I congratulate Tom Wheeler and Mike O'Reilly on their confirmation to serve on the Federal Communications Commission(FCC). The FCC has an ambitious agenda ahead of it, including first and foremost successful implementation of theworld's first ever broadcast incentive auctions. I look forward to working closely with Chairman Wheeler and all ofthe Commissioners to enhance competition, promote innovation and above all else, protect American consumers.
I also thank Acting Chairwoman Clyburn for her leadership of the FCC over the past several months. From tackling theexorbitant rates for inmate calling to addressing interoperability in the lower 700 MHz band, she has been a championof the public interest and a steady steward of the agency at a critical time."
GPS Innovation Alliance
"The GPS Innovation Alliance - launched early this year to ensure constructive, robust dialog between GPS users, GPSmanufacturers, and policymakers on critical issues affecting GPS - looks forward to working with Chairman Wheeler. Few technologies are more ubiquitous in everyday life than GPS. Chairman Wheeler has a long and deep involvement in thecommunications industry and the GPS Innovation Alliance is pleased that he will be able to bring those experiences tothe ongoing efforts to ensure the continued success and growth of the GPS industry. "
Open Technology Institute
Not all the comments were open-arms welcomes. "I remain skeptical of Tom Wheeler's history as the former chief
lobbyist for both the cable and wireless industries and maintain concern about how he'll steer the FCC in the comingyears," said Sascha Meinrath, director of the Institute and VP of the New America Foundation. "The FCC will beoverseeing decisions on several major issues, from who has access to high quality broadband to how much we pay forcommunications to how to create a meaningfully competitive broadband market. In an era when access to high quality, affordable broadband has become a basic need for anyone wanting to fully participate in today's economy, it isespecially problematic to see the U.S. fall behind a growing list of other countries in broadband availability, price,and speed. The burden is now on Tom Wheeler to demonstrate that he will address these critical issues.
The OpenTechnology Institute will work with Chairman Wheeler whenever possible, and critique bad decision-making whenevernecessary."
Internet Innovation Alliance
In addition to welcoming the pair, the Internet Innovation Alliance had a to-do list prepared. "We urge Wheeler and O'Rielly to quickly roll up their sleeves on the IP transition, spectrum policy and ConnectED. To jumpstart network modernization, the Commission should give the green light on IP trials that will pave the way for a smooth transition
to next-generation networks. With wireless users multiplying and available spectrum at a standstill, it's critical that more spectrum be made available for commercial mobile services in short order, before demand hurdles supply. TheFCC should take swift action to conduct open incentive auctions, approve secondary market transactions, and repurposefederal spectrum.
"And for the benefit of communities across the nation, Wheeler and O'Rielly should crystalize a vision for ConnectEd, an initiative that should help ensure access to high-speed broadband for our nation's students both at school and at home. Technology is the fuel of the modern economic engine."
"The Communications Workers of America commends the U.S. Senate confirmation of Tom Wheeler to head the FederalCommunications Commission. CWA looks forward to working with Mr. Wheeler on critical policy issues in thetelecommunications industry, including affordable high-speed Internet access and how FCC policy should help createstable and quality employment in the industry."
PCIA: THe Wireless Infrastructure Association
"Tom Wheeler is principled, experienced, strategic and decisive-all qualities of an effective leader for the FCC,"
said Jonathan Adelstein, president of PCIA and a former FCC commissioner. "His proven management skills and ability to"move the meter" will benefit the FCC enormously as it addresses a variety of issues critical to the future of thenation's communications networks-including wireless networks-as consumers continue to demand more and more data on the go.
"Mike O'Rielly's in-depth knowledge of communications issues, coupled with his extensive public service experience make him an ideal commissioner. Personally, having come from a Senate leadership staff myself, I think that is excellent preparation for the challenges facing an FCC Commissioner.
"Mignon Clyburn's deft leadership of the FCC over the past several months has been characterized by thoughtfulness and determination. Her accomplishments as Acting Chair are numerous, especially in light of her a short tenure. PCIA isparticularly grateful for her focus on wireless infrastructure issues, which will have positive implications forconsumers and businesses for years to come.
"The Federal Communications Commission confronts many pressing priorities, and will benefit from their combined yearsof expertise and public service," said Mike Copps, special adviser to Common Cause's Media and Democracy ReformInitiative and a former FCC members himself. "The full Commission should now pursue priorities include promoting media diversity and localism; achieving universal, affordable telecommunications, and making political ad disclosure throughS. 317 a reality.
"Today I also recognize Mignon Clyburn's impressive tenure as Acting Chairwoman.: Copps should know. He was actingchair between chairs Kevin Martin and Julius Genachowski, where he presided over the DTV switch among other credits.
United Church of Christ Office of Communications
"Mr. Wheeler brings decades of experience from all sectors of the communications industry and an expressed commitment to important public interest values such as universal service and competition. Because of his background, Mr. Wheeler possesses a unique opportunity to make strides toward including all people in the vibrant world of media and telecommunications. Our economies, and our telecommunications networks, create the most value when all people can participate as users, creators and entrepreneurs.
"Acting Chairwoman Clyburn's successful term positioned Mr. Wheeler well to address many issues of importance to the civil rights and social justice communities. In particular, her initiation of the Critical Information Needs research protocol, implementing Section 257 of the Communications Act, has put the agency in a position to adequately assess the needs of the media ecosystem for the first time in more than a decade. "Ms. Clyburn's tenure demonstrated that the only barrier to advancing the civil rights agenda at the FCC is the determination and commitment of the person leading the agency," noted Cheryl Leanza, UCC OC Inc.'s policy advisor."
Entertainment Software Association
"Congratulations to Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner O'Reilly," said Michael Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association (computer games). "Driving ubiquitous broadband and boosting our country's wireless ecosystem are top priorities for the interactive entertainment ecosystem and for the U.S. economy. With the Commission at full strength, and with the keen experience and leadership of Chairman Wheeler, we look forward to assisting the FCC in developing policies that drive private sector innovation and job creation."
Progressive Policy Institute
"The Progressive Policy Institute welcomes the Senate’s confirmation of Tom Wheeler as the FCC’s new Chairman and Michael O'Rielly as Commissioner," said PPI President Will Marshall. "This action, long overdue, returns the FCC to full-strength at a time when the agency faces critical decisions that will affect our country’s burgeoning 'data-driven economy.'
"As PPI has documented in its reports, robust private investment in high-speed broadband has sparked fierce platform competition among ISPs, mobile phone and device suppliers, app developers, content providers and social networks. We believe progressives should support data-driven innovation, which is the leading edge of growth in our economy and a critical comparative advantage for America in global competition.
"Therefore, we congratulate Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner O’Rielly as they take on the crucial work of managing the IP transition and nurturing economic innovation and growth."
Lifeline Connects Coalition
“LifeLine Connects would like to congratulate and welcome Chairman Tom Wheeler to the FCC. We look forward to his vision and leadership guiding the commission during an unprecedented technology revolution for our nation,"
said Jeff Sharp, a media advisor to the LifeLine Connects Coalition.
“This technology revolution can only be fully realized if all Americans -- including job seekers, veterans and the elderly -- have access to affordable technology services. The Lifeline program, developed in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan’s FCC, has helped millions of families find pathways out of poverty and holds the keys to bridging the digital divide.
“We would like to thank and praise Commissioner and acting Chairperson Mignon Clyburn for her steadfast leadership and defense of the Lifeline program during her time as Chair of the FCC. A true champion for Lifeline, Clyburn’s support has been a beacon of hope for millions of families fearful of getting cut off from emergency telephone service based on a barrage of misleading attacks on the program.