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Wheeler champions competition in first comments as FCC Chair

Wed, 11/06/2013 - 1:45pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

Tom Wheeler Tuesday released his first extensive remarks as chairman of the FCC in a blog posted on the commission's website. 

After thanking acting chairwoman Mignon Clyburn for her service, Wheeler called these "important days in determining the future of our networks." He quoted John Gardner's observation, 'History doesn’t look like history when you’re living it,' comparing today's fourth-generation networks to Gutenberg’s printing press and the original railroads for their revolutionary effects on civilization. 

While Wheeler promised more to come in the way of commentary on the FCC's role going forward, he stressed his committment to promting competition and getting more spectrum to market. 

"During my confirmation hearing I described myself as 'an unabashed supporter of competition because competitive markets produce better outcomes than regulated or uncompetitive markets.' Yet we all know that competition does not always flourish by itself; it must be supported and protected if its benefits are to be enjoyed. This agency is a pro-competition agency," Wheeler wrote. 

Wheeler said he has asked Diane Cornell to head a temporary working group to look into proposals put forth by commissioners and FCC staff, members of Congress, and other stakeholders. Cornell's report, which will also include a request for comment, is due in less than 60 days. 

Among a number of personelle announcements, Wheeler said that Ruth Milkman will be the Chief of Staff, and Phil Verveer will be Senior Counselor in the Chairman’s office. 

Wheeler was unanimously confirmed Oct. 29. He took the place of previous chairman Julius Genachowski. A Senate vote on Wheeler's confirmation was delayed when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) raised concerns that Wheeler might support additional funding disclosures for political TV ads.

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