When President Obama picked Tom Wheeler to lead the Federal Communications Commission in May 2013, our headline was, “Uh-oh: AT&T and Comcast are ecstatic about the FCC’s new chairman.”
They’re not happy anymore, especially not after Wheeler yesterday all but confirmed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that he will propose reclassifying Internet providers as common carriers in order to impose net neutrality rules. This would expose broadband to some of the FCC’s strongest powers contained in Title II of the Communications Act, usually reserved for wireline phone service.
Yet it seemed in 2013 that Internet providers had every reason to be pleased: Wheeler formerly led the biggest trade associations representing the cable and wireless industries. Wheeler was CEO of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984 and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) from 1992 to 2004.
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