President Obama set to nominate Tom Wheeler as FCC chairman

01 May 2013 | Mitch Sayers


President Barack Obama will nominate telecoms veteran Tom Wheeler as chairman of the FCC, according to reports.

President Obama is said to have selected Wheeler to replace outgoing FCC chairman Julius Genachowski after working with him over the last few years.

Wall Street Journal reports that Wheeler’s nomination could be announced today.

Wheeler has worked as an informal adviser to the President and helped with fundraising for political campaigns. He has also served as president of National Cable and Television Association (NCTA).

Democrat commissioner Mignon Clyburn is reportedly set to take over as acting chairwoman of the FCC until the senate confirms the nomination.

The former NCTA president has also worked with wireless industry group CTIA, which has lobbied the government to increase amount of spectrum available for US operators. Wheeler is said to have support from industry and consumer groups.

Wheeler has in the past suggested that the FCC needed to update its strategy in the light of it blocking AT&T’s potential takeover of T-Mobile USA.

“The long-term impact of the Justice Department's decision (of the AT&T, T-Mobile merger) would appear to be the growing irrelevance of traditional telecommunications regulatory concepts on mobile broadband providers,” Wheeler wrote in a blog on September 2 2011.

White House officials declined to comment on the potential nomination.