Tom Wheeler

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Tom Wheeler
Tom Wheeler.jpg
Chair of the Federal Communications Commission
Term ends
November 2, 2018
Elections and appointments
NominatedMay 1, 2013
ConfirmedOctober 29, 2013
AppointedNovember 4, 2013
Appointed byBarack Obama
Bachelor'sOhio State University
Office website
Thomas E. Wheeler is the current chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He was confirmed by the Senate on October 29, 2013, by a vote of unanimous consent.[1] Wheeler's term as an FCC Commissioner ends November 3, 2018.[2]

Wheeler previously worked in the telecom industry as a lobbyist, venture capitalist and executive.[3]


Wheeler earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Wheeler's academic, professional and political career:[4][5][3]

  • 1970-1984: Chief Executive of the National Cable Television Association
  • 1992-2004: Chief Executive of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association
  • 2000-2013: Director of OmniSky Corp.
  • 2003-2013: Independent Director of EarthLink Holdings Corp.
  • 2004-2006: Director of Inphonic, Inc.
  • 2004-2013: Advisor for Mercator Partners, LLC
  • 2004-2013: Partner and Managing Director of Core Capital Partners
  • 2005-2013: Non-executive Director of RealNetworks Asia Pacific Co., Ltd.
  • 2007-2013: Director of LimeLife, Inc.
  • 2013-Present: Chairman of the FCC

Confirmation vote

Wheeler was confirmed by the Senate on October 29, 2013, by a vote of unanimous consent.[4]

FCC Commissioner initiatives

Open internet

On May 15, 2014, the FCC voted 3-2, along party lines, to pass new rules regarding net neutrality. The idea behind net neutrality is that internet service providers treat all content equally. The new rules proposed a "fast lane" be offered to larger content managers for a fee to ensure that internet providers do not purposefully slow down the data coming from the high bandwidth content managers like Google, Facebook or Netflix. FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler defended the new rules, stating, "The potential for there to be some kind of a fast lane available to only a few has many people concerned. Personally, I don't like the idea that the Internet could be divided into haves and have nots, and I will work to see that that does not happen. In this item we specifically ask whether and how to prevent the kind of paid prioritization that could result in fast lanes."[6]

Opponents of the new rule claim they will have the opposite effect of neutrality, stifling competition for new companies. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) claimed, "The very essence of net neutrality is that a better idea or service should be allowed to succeed on its merits and not have to pay tolls to reach potential customers. Rules allowing pay-to-play deals would also harm consumers, who could no longer be confident that the Internet speeds they pay for are sufficient to access the services they want."[6]

The rules were opened to public comment for a period of four months, at which point the FCC will finalize the rules.[6]


Wheeler is married his wife, Carole.[7]

Recent News

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See also

External links