FCC Appoints Claude Aiken to BDAC, Reappoints Elizabeth Bowles to BDAC Chair
Washington, DC, May 16, 2019 – Today, the FCC announced the appointment of Claude Aiken, president and CEO of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), and reappointment of Elizabeth Bowles, former president of WISPA, and CEO and Chairman of the Board of Aristotle Unified Communications, to the agency’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). Aiken will serve as a general member of BDAC, and Bowles will serve her second appointment as Chair of the committee.
Established by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in 2017, BDAC is a federal advisory committee comprised of approximately 30 individuals from the public and private sectors, which advises the Commission on ways to boost the deployment of high-speed Internet access for all Americans. BDAC’s charter focuses the committee’s efforts toward “reducing and/or removing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment and strengthening existing broadband networks in communities across the country.”
A leader on broadband policy, Aiken joined WISPA in 2018 after nearly a decade at the FCC. While there, he served as a trusted advisor to Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Clyburn. He held senior leadership positions in the Wireline Bureau and Office of General Counsel, as well key staff attorney roles throughout the Commission. Before joining the FCC, he was a John Marshall Harlan Scholar at New York Law School, where he graduated with a specialization in information and technology law. Aiken also holds a degree in English from Grove City College.
“This is a tremendous privilege to be a part of BDAC,” noted Aiken. “The FCC’s role in effectuating sound broadband access policy is indisputable.” He added, “Yes, I’m an advocate for getting fixed wireless broadband out to unserved and underserved areas of the U.S. That said, I pledge to use my broad policy experience to help the Commission fulfill its statutory duties of ensuring that all Americans can access the high-speed Internet no matter how they get it, their means, or where they are. I’m very excited to start this important work.”
Elizabeth Bowles is a passionate advocate for the expansion of affordable broadband services in underserved areas. To this end, she has testified before Congress and the FCC, and was the previous Chair of BDAC. Presently, Bowles runs Aristotle Unified Communications in Little Rock, AR, helming the strategic vision and operational direction of the company. She also serves on WISPA’s policy committee and is WISPA’s Arkansas State Coordinator. Prior to this, Bowles was an attorney with the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arnold & Porter where she practiced in the fields of intellectual property and commercial litigation, with an emphasis on international and technology law. Ms. Bowles is licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C., and Arkansas, as well as before the Supreme Court of the United States and a number of U.S. Courts of Appeals.
“I am honored to have been asked to continue as Chair of the BDAC. I am equally pleased that Claude will be joining our ranks. Having a second voice to represent the WISP industry is critical to the BDAC’s mission to address the digital divide,” Ms. Bowles said. “I am proud of the important work the BDAC has accomplished to date and happy to say that our recommendations are already gaining traction, but there is still much work to be done. I look forward to engaging with Claude and the rest of the BDAC to tackle the next set of recommendations for improving broadband for public safety and job skills training.”
WISPA is a membership-driven trade association that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the fixed wireless Internet service provider industry. WISPA has over 800 members that support WISPA’s advocacy, education and other collaborative industry initiatives. For more information, visit www.wispa.org.
About Aristotle Unified Communications
AUC is a broadband Internet Service and Voice-over-IP Phone provider with headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. Currently AUC serves the Central Arkansas area and is expanding its coverage area to 29 counties in rural Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma. For more information, visit aristotle.net.
Tina Van Horn