Reports: Rubio Throws Hat in Presidential Ring

According to various reports, Senate Commerce Committee member Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a big backer of unlicensed Wi-Fi and a strong opponent of network neutrality, has told donors he is running for President.

Elected in 2010, the mediagenic Senator, the son of Cuban immigrants (his father was a bartender, his mother a maid), has long been considered a candidate in waiting and a potentially strong draw for the burgeoning Hispanic population.

He has been active on media issues on the committee (he is also a member of the Communications Subcommittee), backing bills to boost unlicensed Wi-Fi, seeking the release of jailed journalists, bounties for the killers of journalists, and slamming the President and the FCC for backing reclassification of ISPs under Title II regs.

He has said it should be a priority for Congress to step in and set the FCC straight.

"President Obama’s announced support for more government regulation of the Internet threatens to restrict Internet growth and increase costs on Internet users," he said last November after the President's very public support for Title II. "Furthermore, applying heavy-handed Title II classification to Internet service sends the wrong message to international stakeholders that look to the United States for leadership in Internet governance, and undermines our support for an open Internet, free of government intervention."

“Instead of reclassifying Internet service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, the FCC should allow Congress to update this law," he said at the time. "I believe it should be a top priority of the new Congress to provide clarity on the FCC’s role in the modern communications landscape.”

Rubio is not the only presidential candidate from the Senate Commerce Committee (and Communications Subcommittee). Net neutrality foe Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced last month.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.