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Senate confirms Wheeler, O’Rielly to FCC

Wed, 10/30/2013 - 1:25pm
Ben Munson, Wireless Week

The Senate has confirmed both new Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioner Michael O’Rielly for appointment to the FCC.

Wheeler will take over following former Chairman Julius Genachowski’s retirement from the Commission earlier this year. Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn has been serving in the interim.

Wheeler, appointed by President Obama in May, comes to the Commission from his work with venture capital firm Core Capital. Wheeler was also president of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984 and was CEO of CTIA until 2004, when Steve Largent took over the post.

“What excites me about this new responsibility is how we are at a hinge moment of history; the Internet is the greatest communications revolution in the last 150 years. We must all dedicate ourselves to encouraging its growth, expanding what it enables, and assuring its users’ rights are respected,” Wheeler said in a statement following his Senate confirmation.

Clyburn welcomed Wheeler in a statement: “Tom brings a tremendous depth of experience, talent, and knowledge that will serve him well as the leader of this critically important agency.”

T-Mobile also extended its congratulations and approved of Wheeler’s confirmation. In May, Wheeler’s nomination garnered support from all of the U.S.’s largest wireless providers as well industry organizations like CTIA and the Competitive Carriers Association.

O’Rielly, who currently serves as a policy adviser to the Senate Republican Whip, Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, steps in for departing Republican Commission Robert McDowell.

Speaking of his and O’Rielly’s appoinments, Wheeler said “We will be joining a dynamic and dedicated team at the FCC.”

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