Yesterday Tom Wheeler was sworn in as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He comes to the FCC after a Washington career that includes previous incarnations as the head of communications industry trade associations, venture capitalist, historian and author and chairman of various governmental advisory commissions. SIIA welcomes his chairmanship and looks forward to working with him and the other commissioners on a range of important issues. In particular, SIIA urges prompt and effective action to increase support for broadband to schools and libraries across the nation. As we said in our comments in the current FCC E-rate proceeding:
“SIIA views robust Internet access through high-speed broadband connectivity as critical to a 21st century education system, and to providing educators and students with access to technology-based tools and resources that are mission critical for teaching and learning in today’s digital age. Learning technologies are needed to increase educational opportunities, improve student engagement and enhance the personalization of learning to meet the needs of an ever more diverse student body.”
The new FCC Chairman has taken some good first steps. He has appointed a first-class group of senior advisors including long-time Washington public servant and communications lawyer Phil Verveer as special counsel, public interest activist Gigi Sohn as his head of external affairs, communications policy veteran Diane Cornell as special counsel, former Commerce Department official Jonathan Sallet as acting general counsel and former Democratic Chief Counsel on the House Energy and Commerce Roger Sherman as acting head of the wireless bureau. His remarks to the FCC staff contained an attractive vision of the FCC’s role in nurturing the “network revolution” created by dramatic advances in communications and computer technology. SIIA congratulates him on a good beginning.
Mark MacCarthy, Vice President, Public Policy at SIIA, directs SIIA’s public policy initiatives in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, information privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing and the promotion of educational technology. Follow Mark on Twitter at @Mark_MacCarthy