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FCC chairman emphasizes communication tech access in Ohio State address

The new leader of U.S. communication regulations, including radio, TV and satellite, emphasized the importance of access to technology during his first official address, which took place at Ohio State Monday.

Newly appointed Federal Communications Commissioner chairman and OSU alumnus Tom Wheeler returned to the university to give his first address as the head of the organization stressing the important roll the FCC plays in what he called “the fourth great network revolution.”

“(The fourth great network revolution) has the potential to be the most important of the four revolutions,” he said in an interview with The Lantern.

The three prior communication revolutions he referred to included Gutenberg’s printing press, the railroad and the telegraph, respectively.

Wheeler, a 1968 Fisher College of Business graduate, who was approved unanimously by the Senate almost a month ago after being appointed by President Barack Obama, chose to give his speech in Columbus because he thought it would resonate his point that communication technology is something every American should have access to in the 21st century.

“Your FCC believes its mission is as integral to the prosperity of the Ohio Valley as Silicon Valley,” he said. “It’s a message to young people that the new world of networks can be — must be — innovative and dynamic and competitive and serve consumer expectations. And that when these forces converge, opportunities abound.”

According to his biography on the FCC website, Wheeler is the only person in history to be selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and the Wireless Hall of Fame and has extensive experience in the field, including serving as president and CEO of the National Cable Television Association.

Chris Wrobel, a second-year in chemical engineering, said he was glad OSU hosted the speech.

“It was a really cool opportunity for someone with that kind of stature, someone who has risen to such a high level, (to) come to the university and be able to talk to everybody,” he said.

Jeff Grabmeier, the senior director for research and innovation communications at OSU, said Wheeler’s appointment to the chairman position was a great thing for OSU.

“Ohio State is proud of all of our graduates here, and to have someone like Chairman Wheeler, who has made such a difference in the world, can only help Ohio State,” he said.


Dave Dziak contributed to this article.

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