OTI Statement on Chairman Wheeler's Departure

Press Release
Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com
Dec. 15, 2016

In a brief statement released today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he plans to leave the agency on January 20, 2017, after serving for more than three years as Chair.

The following statement can be attributed to Sarah Morris, Director of Open Internet Policy for New America’s Open Technology Institute:

“Chairman Wheeler left an indelible mark on our country’s communications policy. Under his leadership, and with the support of Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel, the FCC worked tirelessly to protect consumer interests. The FCC enacted historic rules to preserve an open internet and protect consumer privacy, thwarted the harmful Comcast merger with Time Warner Cable, and reformed the Commission’s important E-rate and Lifeline programs—all within a framework grounded in improving competition and innovation and promoting a vision of the internet as an open platform for all voices. We applaud Chairman Wheeler for these and numerous other accomplishments, and we are grateful for the thoughtfulness with which he approached his policymaking.

Yet as we celebrate the many, many accomplishments of the FCC under Chairman Wheeler, we also recognize the uncertain future ahead. Protecting the legacy of these reforms will be a top priority for OTI as we move forward under new FCC leadership.”

The following statement can be attributed to Michael Calabrese, Director of New America’s Wireless Future Project:

“Tom Wheeler did more to promote a productive and competitive wireless future for America than any previous chairman. He insisted that network neutrality should apply equally to mobile networks, he rejected mergers that would have reduced mobile market competition, and he opened huge new sources of wireless spectrum by pioneering the sharing of grossly underutilized frequency bands.”