Biden’s FCC picks a ‘dream team’ for broadband advocates

Finally President Biden His pick for the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday ended a surprising delay that forced Democrats to work with Republicans in a 2-2 stalemate instead of a 3-2 majority that the president’s party typically enjoys.

The names themselves are familiar. Jessica Rosenwarsell, who has been chair of the FCC since January, was named permanent chair. Biden will fill the empty democratic slot in the commission by nominating Gigi Son, a longtime consumer advocate who was an FCC official during Obama’s years. Then-FCC-Chair Tom Wheeler chose Sohan as his mentor in 2013, a role where he advocated for strong net neutrality rules and Internet service providers Title II general-career control.

Biden was able to immediately elevate Rosenwarsell from incumbent to permanent chair, as the president can choose any sitting commissioner as chair. But Rosenworcel’s current five-year term has already expired, and he will have to leave the FCC altogether in January if he does not get a new term. That means Biden will have to submit nominations to the Senate for both Rosenversell and Sohan, and the Senate will have to confirm them to avoid a 2-1 majority for Republicans in early 2022.

Politico also announced the nomination on Monday night New York Times And the announcement was made by the White House on Tuesday. In his nearly 10 years as FCC commissioner, Rosenwarsell has “worked to promote more opportunities, accessibility and affordability in our communications services to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at the success of the 21st century,” the White House said. :

From the fight to protect an open internet, to the sure Broadband access For students caught up in homework through the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund, he has become a champion for connectivity for all, ensuring that families who are struggling to afford Internet services stay connected through the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. He is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the Internet of Things. He has fought against illegal robotics and increased consumer protection in our telecommunications policy.

Senate confirmations often take months or more, but the nominations of Rosenwarsell and Sohan will probably be quick-tracked considering the situation.

Sohan was almost the chair pick of Biden

In 2001, Sohan co-founded Consumer-Advocacy Group Public Knowledge and was president of the group until he went to work for Wheeler at the FCC. Biden is said to have floated Sohan’s name for the chair slot a few months ago but the plan was dropped after the senators opposed it behind the scenes. The Sohan-led FCC could be likened to the Federal Trade Commission under Lina Khan, a biden pick who is turning the FTC into a more aggressive distrust regulator.

“For more than 30 years, Gigi has worked to protect and preserve basic competition and innovation policies that have made broadband Internet access more ubiquitous, competitive, affordable, open and protecting user privacy,” the White House said in a statement. Nomination

Not keeping Sohan as chair is probably a bit of a relief for the big telecom providers who oppose virtually every plan to control the broadband and cable TV industry. In July, a report on Sohan’s possible nomination led Bernstein’s media analyst Peter Supino to write, “As chairwoman, we think Sohan will probably follow a form of broadband price control.” “If Sohan is hired, we hope the cable stock will go down,” he added.

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