WASHINGTON, June 16, 2014 — A couple of weeks ago, “This Week With John Oliver” offered some strong opinions on the impending erosion of “net neutrality.”
Oliver suggested that cable companies are like drug cartels and that the appointment of former industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler as chairman of the FCC was “the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo.”
Oliver’s plea to watchers to make comments at the FCC.Gov web about the FCC and Wheeler having the power to impose net neutraility … or its demise… brought the FCCwebsite down.
We’re still experiencing technical difficulties with our comment system. Thanks for your patience as we work to resolve the issues.
— The FCC (@FCC) June 2, 2014
Oliver said: “The Internet is not broken and the FCC is taking steps to fix that,”
Who is Tom Wheeler? Wheeler became the 31st Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on November 4, 2013. According to his bio, Wheeler has been
“involved with new telecommunications networks and services, experiencing the revolution in telecommunications as a policy expert, an advocate, and a businessman. As an entrepreneur, he started or helped start multiple companies offering innovative cable, wireless, and video communications services. He is the only person to be selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and The Wireless Hall of Fame, a fact President Obama joked made him “The Bo Jackson of Telecom.”
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Prior to joining the FCC, Chairman Wheeler was Managing Director at Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage Internet Protocol (IP)-based companies. He served as President and CEO of Shiloh Group, LLC, a strategy development and private investment company specializing in telecommunications services and co-founded SmartBrief, the internet’s largest electronic information service for vertical markets. From 1976 to 1984, Chairman Wheeler was associated with the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), where he was President and CEO from 1979 to 1984. Following NCTA, Chairman Wheeler was CEO of several high tech companies, including the first company to offer high speed delivery of data to home computers and the first digital video satellite service. From 1992 to 2004, Chairman Wheeler served as President and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).”
The man our president feels is the best to head up the FCC and make decisions to give the telecom and cable networks the unfettered right to decide who will, and won’t, get access to bandwidth on the internet has his hands deep in the pockets of the very companies he is supposedly regulating.
When asked about the Oliver sketch, Wheeler stated “I would like to state for the record that I am not a dingo.”
And if Tom Wheeler in the top spot at the FCC is not akin to a Dingo in the nursery, I don’t know what is. And I am not alone.