The president had hardly gotten the announcement out -- that
he was nominating Tom Wheeler to be the next FCC chair and Mignon Clyburn to be
interim chair -- when the electronic floodgates opened with comments from
across the industry and public interest spectrum.
While such statements are unlikely to be too critical of a
chairman they will need to work with, the tone was, for the most part,
exceedingly positive. Here is just a sample.
"Tom has demonstrated strong leadership skills at a time of
major change in the telecommunications, cable, and wireless industries,"
said Chris Dodd, president of the Motion Picture Association of America.
"I look forward to working with Tom, an entrepreneur and experienced
policy expert, to ensure the smooth delivery of American content over a variety
of devices and networks, both here and abroad."
"NAB salutes president Obama's historic selection of
Mignon Clyburn as acting chair of the FCC," the trade group said in a
statement [it already weighed in on Wheeler the day before]. Commissioner
Clyburn is a trailblazer and role model for millions of women, and her
commitment to serving the public interest is unquestioned."
"[Tom Wheeler's]is vast knowledge of the communications industry, as well as his proven leadership, will be invaluable as the Commission sets its course for our nation's digital future," said Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts. "We applaud President Obama's nomination and we look forward to working with the Commission under Tom's leadership.
Further, we commend the President's appointment of Mignon Clyburn as Acting Chair of the FCC. She has distinguished herself in her service as a Commissioner over the past three and a half years, and has demonstrated that she is well-suited to lead the agency."
"The American Cable Association is heartened that the President has nominated someone as competent as Tom Wheeler to be Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission," said American Cable Association President Matt Polka. "He has spent his career in the communications industry - running a company that invests in new entrants in the high-tech field, representing vital industry sectors, and serving on government panels. At a time when the communications sector has so many opportunities and faces so many challenges, the FCC needs someone who is both capable and qualified. Mr. Wheeler is the right person for the job.
"ACA also applauds President Obama's selection of FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to serve as Acting FCC Chair. This honor is justly deserved. Over the past several years, ACA has met frequently with Commissioner Clyburn and her staff. They have been invariably serious and fair-minded on many issues important to consumers and competition..."
"Tom is a man of many talents and wide industry experience
with whom I enjoyed working when I was commissioner and acting chair of the
FCC," said Michael Copps, special adviser to Common Cause and former FCC
acting chairman. "We did not always agree on the issues, but I appreciated
his candor, knowledge, and ability to listen as well as to talk. Tom now has
the opportunity to expand on his experience as an industry lobbyist to make
policy that benefits all consumers and citizens. I also commend the president
for his designation of commissioner Mignon Clyburn as acting chairwoman of the
FCC. I was privileged to be her colleague and to work in concert with her
across a broad gamut of issues. Her commitment to expanding diversity
across our communications platforms to reflect the wondrous diversity of our
nation has been especially remarkable, and having her at the helm encourages my
hopes for needed progress in this critically-important area."
"I've known Tom Wheeler for many years, and he is an
inspired pick to lead the FCC," said AT&T senior executive VP Jim
Cicconi. "Mr. Wheeler's combination of high intelligence, broad experience, and
in-depth knowledge of the industry may, in fact, make him one of the most
qualified people ever named to run the agency. I also want to congratulate
Mignon Clyburn, who will take over as interim-chair of the FCC. She's an
experienced and independent policymaker, passionate about public service, who
will lead the agency over the coming months with a steady hand.
"We applaud the president for selecting Tom Wheeler to be
the next Chairman of the FCC," said The Broadband Coalition. "Tom
brings real world experience that will be a tremendous asset to the agency and
the American public. He led the wireless industry in the 1990s, when the
industry was experiencing an explosion of innovation and competition, so he
understands the benefits of a healthy competitive market....As a commissioner,
Mignon [Clyburn] has been an advocate for competition and an experienced voice
for businesses at the commission. She understands what small businesses need to
thrive and create jobs."
"At a time when communications innovation evolves at
lightning speed, Tom has proven consistently to be a visionary thought-leader
about our nation's mobile future," said Jonathan Spalter, chairman of
Mobile Future. "We urge the Senate to move forward to confirm him as
quickly as possible. As the confirmation process goes forward, we look forward
to working with Commissioner Clyburn as Interim Chair."
"Mr. Wheeler's experience makes him uniquely qualified to
help modernize FCC policies so they encourage the massive investments in
broadband infrastructure our economy needs, and on which the American people
depend," said Broadband for America cochairs Harold Ford Jr. and John
Sununu. "Also, Broadband for America welcomes the president's nomination
of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn as Interim Chair and we look forward to working
with her at this important time."
"Tom Wheeler is well-equipped to lead the Federal
Communications Commission during a time that is crucial to the continued
expansion and advancement of Internet technology," said the Internet
Innovation Alliance....In this new role, we hope he focuses on enabling the
infrastructure investments required to put high-speed broadband access in the
hands of more Americans. This resource is critical for education, health and
entrepreneurship, and government and business must work together to increase
"As the leadership transition at the FCC takes shape, we
look forward to our continued work with FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn who has
been named interim Chair of the Commission. Her strong vision and focus
on driving programs that will help bring high-speed broadband to more Americans
is critical to the Administration's technology policy goals."
"Mr. Wheeler's experience with the 2009
digital television transition demonstrates that he understands the need to work
collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders, including the civil rights,
consumer, and public interest communities," said the Civil and Human Rights
Coalition. "We are optimistic that this understanding will carry over to
his tenure as FCC Chair, and look forward to learning more about his vision for
an inclusive Commission that meets the communications needs of all