On May 1, 2013, President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Tom Wheeler to be the chairman of the Federal Commutations Commission. On October 29, 2013, the US Senate voted unanimously to confirm Mr Wheeler as chairman and Michael O’Rielly to be FCC commissioner. The following statement can be attributed to Benton Foundation Chairman Charles Benton:
The Benton Foundation welcomes the Federal Communications Commission’s new commissioners and congratulates Mignon Clyburn for her exceptional leadership as acting chairman over the past few months. Benton looks forward to working with Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Jessica Rosenworcel, Ajit Pai, and O’Rielly.
We are heartened by Chairman Wheeler’s statement that “the Internet is the greatest communications revolution in the last 150 years. We must all dedicate ourselves to encouraging its growth, expanding what it enables, and assuring its users' rights are respected." Too many people in the U.S. – including people of color, people living in rural areas, seniors, people with disabilities and people with low-incomes – are not yet participating fully in America’s economic, civic, and cultural life because they are not able to adopt the communications tools many of us take for granted. We believe that the important industries regulated by the FCC play a vital role in improving the country’s economy and quality of life. The Benton Foundation will continue to advocate for affordable broadband access for all, diversity of voices in media, and pragmatic communications-related policies that favor the public interest.
The Benton Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting communication in the public interest. These comments reflect the institutional view of the Foundation and, unless obvious from the text, are not intended to reflect the views of individual Foundation officers, directors, or advisors.