Tom Wheeler Gets Board Seat on IoT Networking Company

Paris-based Actility adds former FCC chair

Former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has landed his first post-FCC corporate board seat.

He has joined the board of Actility, which is an established Paris-based IoT infrastructure firm.

It bills itself as a leader in low-power, wide area networking for machine-to-machine (Internet of Things) smart connections for billions of devices.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is a key manifestation of Web 3.0,” Wheeler said of the new gig. “But we need to think bigger than some of our current IoT examples. Web 3.0 is about connecting intelligence in all forms—data, ideas, apps, and ultimately people. That’s why I’m really excited to be able to work with Actility, with its leadership in connecting things, people and companies with intelligence, and its pioneering commitment to enabling and delivering the networks that will underlie the industrial transformation that Web 3.0 will bring."

“We’re delighted that Tom has joined Actility,” said Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “His insight and vision for the future resonate powerfully with Actility’s mission of using Low Power Wide Area wireless networks at the edge of the global internet to connect things, pull information, push specific instructions, and orchestrate information flows between devices and intelligent applications in a very cost effective and flexible way."

Wheeler exited the FCC Jan. 20 after a little over three years in the center seat. The focus of his chairmanship was broadband connectivity and access, particularly mobile wireless, so a company invested in connecting internet-connected devices via low-power wireless nets would appear a good fit for the former venture capitalist and wireless association exec.

In his final policy speech, Wheeler suggested that Open Internet rules, arguably his principal policy goal, was crucial to the future of IoT. "The growth of the Internet of Things is another area that depends on the open connectivity of those things," he said. "If ISPs can decide arbitrarily which IoT devices can be connected, or favor their IoT activity over that of competitors, the bright future dims."

Wheeler is also a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute.