FCC advances decisive commissioner nominations

Nov. 1, 2021
After a long wait, President Joseph Biden has announced nominations to fill one current vacancy and another potential one among Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioners.

After a long wait, President Joseph Biden has announced nominations to fill one current vacancy and another potential one among Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioners.

President Biden has moved to make current interim FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel’s position permanent and selected Gigi Sohn as a commissioner as well.

If confirmed by the Senate, Rosenworcel and Sohn would give the Democrats a 3-2 majority among FCC commissioners, paving the way for the passage of policies the Biden Administration would favor.

A date for the nomination hearings has not yet been established.

Rosenworcel has been an FCC commissioner since 2012, having been nominated initially in 2011. She was named interim chair shortly after previous Chairman Ajit Pai stepped down during the waning days of the Trump Administration. Her current term is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

Sohn is a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate. She served as a counselor from 2013-2016 to Tom Wheeler when he served as FCC chairman.

“I want to extend my congratulations to Chairwoman Rosenworcel on her designation as Chair of the FCC and on her nomination by the White House to serve another five-year term.  I also want to extend my congratulations to Gigi Sohn on her nomination to serve on the Commission," commented Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. “During the past ten months, under the leadership of Chairwoman Rosenworcel, I have enjoyed the chance to work in a bipartisan manner to advance the public interest, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue this important work with my FCC colleagues.” 

The Biden Administration also announced the nomination of Alan Davidson for Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), within the Department of Commerce.

“NTIA is a central driver of the government’s overall connectivity work – touching the internet, 5G, spectrum, cybersecurity and, of course, broadband deployment. In Alan Davidson, President Biden has nominated a person with a range of technology and innovation experience, and a perspective that crosses the public, private and non-profit spheres. We wish him luck in his confirmation and look forward to deepening our work with NTIA and the Commerce Department to bring the benefits of broadband connectivity everywhere,” commented USTelecom President and CEO Jonathan Spalter.

“We congratulate Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel on her nomination for a new term as the permanent Chair of the Federal Communications Commission. To date, Chairwoman Rosenworcel has served with distinction and ably led the Commission over the past 10 months as the country increasingly turned to the internet to adapt to pandemic demands,” added Michael Powell, president and CEO of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association. “We also congratulate Gigi Sohn and Alan Davidson on their nominations to serve as FCC Commissioner and NTIA Administrator. If confirmed by the Senate, each of these individuals will play a critical role in the design of policy that will promote continued investment and innovation in wired and wireless broadband networks – including the growth of licensed and unlicensed platforms – and in supporting Congress’ clear direction to build next generation networks in unserved and underserved areas. We look forward to upcoming hearings and consideration of these important nominations in the weeks ahead.”

-- Stephen Hardy, BROADBAND TECHNOLOGY REPORT

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