WASHINGTON, June 13 U.S. Federal Communications
Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Friday recused himself from
the FCC's review of AT&T Inc's tests of a transition of
networks to digital because of his past affiliation with
participant EarthLink Holdings Corp.
EarthLink, a managed network and cloud services provider,
has applied to participate in AT&T's proposed trials, in which
it would test switching telephone services from existing
circuit-switch technology to an alternative Internet
protocol-based one to see how the change may affect consumers.
Wheeler, a former venture capitalist, stepped down from
EarthLink's board of directors in November as he took reigns at
the FCC. On Friday, he said that after consulting with FCC
lawyers, he decided to recuse himself from the review of the
AT&T's trials because of EarthLink's application.
AT&T is conducting so-called IP transition trials as it
seeks to replace their old copper wires with newer technology
like fiber or wireless. The tests would seek to establish, among
other things, how consumers welcome the change and how new
technology performs in emergency situations, including in remote
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh and Marina Lopes; Editing by Steve