Tuesday, October 26, 2021

President Nominates Rosenworcel As FCC Chair

Jessica Rosenworcel
UPDATE 2PM TUESDAY: President Biden on Tuesday nominated Jessica Rosenworcel, the acting chairwoman of the FCC, to the permanent job, putting her on track to become the first woman to lead the agency.

If she is confirmed by the Senate, Rosenworcel would lead an agency whose responsibilities include ensuring that millions of Americans have internet access. The FCC promotes competition among providers, scrutinizes mergers between telecommunications and broadcast companies, and regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.

Biden also named Gigi B. Sohn to the seat on the five-member commission vacated by Ms. Rosenworcel when she became the acting chairwoman. Sohn, a distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy, served from 2013 to 2016 as counselor to Tom Wheeler, a former F.C.C. chairman. 
The nominations reflect the Biden administration’s commitment to restoring net neutrality rules, which promote competition in part by barring internet providers from blocking certain content, slowing its delivery or letting clients pay more to have it delivered faster. The FCC adopted the rules during the Obama administration but rolled them back under the Trump administration.

Earlier Story...

President Joe Biden is expected to nominate the acting chair of the Federal Communications Commission to serve another term and designate her as the permanent chair, two people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

Biden tapped Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel in January to serve as the acting chair of the five-member telecoms regulator. Biden has waited more than nine months to make nominations for the FCC, which has not been able to address some issues because it currently has one vacancy and is divided 2-2 between Democrats and Republicans.

Rosenworcel will be the first woman designated as the permanent chair of the FCC; Mignon Clyburn in 2013 served as acting FCC chair.

Last month, a group of 25 U.S. senators wrote Biden emphasizing their support for Rosenworcel, a former Senate staffer, to be nominated for a new term and to designate her as the first female permanent chair, saying, "further delays will unnecessarily imperil our shared goal of achieving ubiquitous broadband connectivity."

Politico and Communications Daily reported Biden plans to nominate Gigi Sohn for the open FCC seat. Sohn is a former senior aide to Tom Wheeler, who served as an FCC chair under President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

The FCC under Obama adopted net neutrality rules in 2015 that barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes.

The protections were overturned in 2017 by the FCC under President Donald Trump, a Republican, over the objections of Rosenworcel and Clyburn.

Rosenworcel in 2017 said the decision put the FCC "on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public."

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