The American Library Association congratulates Tom Wheeler and Michael O’Rielly on their Senate confirmation to the Federal Communications Commission. As Senator Thune referenced in Wheeler’s nomination hearing last June, this is a pivotal time in communications history and it is prime time for visionary leadership. ALA is ready to shape a vision for broadband access for America’s libraries and the communities they serve. ALA also thanks Acting Chairwoman Clyburn for her leadership during the interim period. Her hallmark dedication to the public interest is exemplary and ALA deeply appreciates her direction on these issues. In the immediate future, the current E-rate proceeding holds the greatest promise for America’s libraries to ensure they have access to affordable, high-capacity broadband today and over the next decade. ALA appreciates the strong support of Senator Rockefeller for the E-rate program and thanks him for bringing its importance to the attention of the newest FCC Commissioner and Chairman.
“Libraries in communities across the country are clamoring for broadband speeds that support the countless services libraries provide K12 students, their families, and the general public,” said ALA Washington Office Executive Director, Emily Sheketoff. “Libraries cannot afford to wait and the current E-rate proceeding provides us the opportunity to put an E-rate program into place that ensures libraries and schools are equipped for what the public needs.”
ALA looks forward to working with the full Commission in the coming months.