FCC takes up ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

The Federal Communications Commission is following in the steps of Jimmy Fallon, LeBron James and countless social media users by taking part in a viral trend to raise awareness for a rare nerve disease.

At least three of the FCC’s five commissioners have or will take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in which they dump a bucket of freezing ice water over their heads to help combat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, both Republicans, took part in videos posted over the weekend, after prompting from the wireless trade group CTIA. Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel is also planning to participate, her office confirmed.

“To make sure the FCC does its part and in memory of an aunt who died of ALS, I’m going to take the challenge and pass it on,” Pai said in his 30-second video

In the “challenge,” people urge friends to either film themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their head or else donate $100 to the charity. Many do both.

The phenomenon has taken over social media sites in recent weeks, in part spurred by celebrities like Bill Gates and Matt Lauer who have taken part.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have also joined in on the trend.

On Facebook, people have reportedly shared more than 1 million videos.

The ALS Association reported $13.3 million in donations since late July, according to The New York Times, nearly an eight-fold increase from the same period last year. 


—Updated at 10:59 a.m.