ITIF Responds to Selection of Tom Wheeler as New Chairman of the FCC

April 30, 2013

WASHINGTON (April 30, 2013) – In light of the upcoming announcement of the nomination of Tom Wheeler to be the new Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Rob Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), releases the following statement:

"ITIF congratulates Tom Wheeler on his nomination to lead the FCC. Wheeler is one of America’s broadband pioneers. His experience in the formative years of the cable and mobile industries gives him a unique perspective on the challenges facing technology businesses that will prove very helpful in his new role. In addition, Mr. Wheeler has been a leading advisor to the Obama administration on science and technology policy and the head of the FCC’s Technological Advisory Committee where he was a major force in supporting Chairman Genachowski’s efforts to promote broadband innovation.

Over the next few years, the FCC will confront the most significant issue it has ever considered, the transition from legacy telephone service to pervasive, all-IP broadband networks. The historic nature of this transition stresses every fiber of communication policy from the Communications Act down to the smallest regulation on pole attachment. It requires a new vision of the public obligations of telecom providers, universal service, and the phase-out of the obsolete telephone network.

The new FCC chairman will have to focus his considerable talents on this challenge and to engage the wide community of policy analysts, technologists, public interest advocates, and business leaders.

ITIF stands ready to lend a hand, mindful that the historic transition from traditional telephone service to pervasive broadband must not alter the powerful, constructive course upon which America’s broadband networks are developing. We lead the world in the deployment and adoption of 4G/LTE networks, we’re installing more miles of fiber optic cable and increasing the speed of our broadband networks faster than any comparable region, and our smartphone platforms set the global standard for mobile innovation. While the FCC has much work to do, its current trajectory is sound and doesn’t need to be altered in a significant way.


We congratulate Tom Wheeler on his nomination as FCC Chairman and look forward to working with him to advance the broadband agenda."


The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank at the cutting edge of designing innovation strategies and technology policies to create economic opportunities and improve quality of life in the United States and around the world. Founded in 2006, ITIF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-partisan organization that documents the beneficial role technology plays in our lives and provides fact-based analysis and pragmatic ideas for improving technology-driven productivity, boosting competitiveness, and meeting today's global challenges through innovation. For additional information, visit ITIF at