Select Page

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is stepping down, and the FCC will be controlled by interests whose agenda, according to their quoted statements, is dramatically different than the departing chair. Recent meetings with Tech Titans notwithstanding, the new FCC policy and rule makers have previously strongly opposed such public interest concepts as net neutrality.

It probably should be noted that Wheeler himself was a lobbyist for the cable industry, and his policy decisions were at least partly based on what was best for them, and not necessarily “the public”.

Prior to his October 2013 confirmation as FCC chairman, Wheeler was managing director at venture capital firm Core Capital Partners. He also was president of cable trade org NCTA from 1979 to 1984, and led the CTIA from 1992 to 2004.

That even such an establishment industry lobbyist has been characterized as too “one sided” against business interests, reveals a lot about our present governmental arrangements. Even if Wheeler was still chairman going forward, the ability of the FCC rules and regs on net neutrality to withstand court challenges was very questionable. So in some ways, this is more of the same, except with darker foreshadowing.

Not to say those supporting net neutrality should just accept this new status quo. Telecom attempts to control POTS forever, eventually were passed by with new technologies. Cable TV is also seemingly getting surpassed by streaming networks.

PSA supports the community level communication networks, the mom and pop internet businesses, the local educational online efforts, affordable access for all, and competition instead of monopoly for network access.

Download (PDF, 267KB)