Wheeler: I have Not Attended Zero Rating Meetings

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler emphasized Thursday (Jan. 28) that the FCC's inquiry into the zero rating plans of various companies was an informational exercise.

In a press conference following the FCC's public meeting, Wheeler pointed out that the meetings the FCC has been holding with those companies--Comcast, AT&T, T-Mobile and likely Verizon--were at the bureau level, which he said was significant.

"I am not at these meetings. Nobody from the office of the chairman is in these meetings. They're gathering information and we'll see what happens from there."

In a separate press conference, Republican Commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Ajit Pai reiterated their concerns with the meetings.

Pai said he thought the inquiry was wholly unnecessary, though he was not privy to the meetings. O'Rielly called it troubling and said he was trying to gather as much information "from the inquisitors" to understand the scope of their inquiry.

As to the chairman and his staff not being in the meetings. "We do all know that the bureaus are at his discretion, otherwise I would get a lot more information." O'Rielly has complained about not getting information about Enforcement Bureau actions, for one.

John Eggerton

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.