Senate Confirms FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly For A 5-Year Term

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has been unanimously approved by the Senate for a full term with the agency. Previously, O’Rielly completed the term of a prior commissioner. He was first sworn in last November.

Here’s the National Cable & Telecommunications Association on his re-upping with the agency: “Commissioner O’Rielly has been a passionate advocate for forward-looking policies that promote competitive, marketplace solutions.”

Are the kind words from the industry group surprising? Not at all. O’Rielly is one of two Republicans that currently help comprise the agency’s director group, out of total of five members. Just for flavor, here are the opening paragraphs of an op-ed that O’Rielly co-wrote, following the FCC’s passage of its ‘notice of proposed rule making,’ pushing ahead with its work to institute new net neutrality regulations:

The Federal Communications Commission has become famous — or infamous — for its recent proposal to adopt “net neutrality” rules. Lost in the debate is the lack of a demonstrable need for such rules, as validated by a rigorous and factually sound cost-benefit analysis.

Consumers can already access whatever Internet content, applications, and services they desire. When traffic is treated differently, such as prioritizing a voice call or video stream over an e-mail, it is part of sensible network management. And if you talk to broadband providers, they’ll tell you that this isn’t going to change. The Internet has flourished because of the government’s hands-off approach.

So there’s that. Don’t worry too much: Each party gets whomever they want on the commission, to keep the ideological balance, balanced. Still, at least we know where we stand with the good Mr. O’Rielly.

For flavor, here’s the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s own verbiage on the confirmation:

“I congratulate Mike on his confirmation for a full term as Commissioner. He works diligently to
improve the lives of all Americans through expanded access to 21st century communications and
technology. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with him on the important issues before
the Commission.”