Jessica Rosenworcel named as FCC chair

Jessica Rosenworcel

US president Joe Biden has appointed broadband-for-all advocate Jessica Rosenworcel as chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Rosenworcel is expected to win Senate approval and become the first woman to serve as permanent FCC boss. She has overseen the FCC’s temporary $3.2 billion broadband subsidy programme that was created last year to provide discounts on internet subscriptions and PC purchases for more than 6 million low income US households.

Despite assuming office in January, Biden has waited to make nominations for the FCC which is at a standstill divided 2-2 between the Democrats and Republicans. Former FCC chair under president Barack Obama Gigi Sohn has been confirmed as the nominee for the empty seat.

Both appointees support the reinstitution of net neutrality, which was dismantled under the controversial Trump appointee Ajit Pai. Rosenworcel in particular has said that the decision to repeal net neutrality laws Rosenworcel had put the FCC “on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public.”

A group of 25 US senators last month wrote to Biden to support the appointment of Rosenworcel, and argued that “further delays will unnecessarily imperil our shared goal of achieving ubiquitous broadband connectivity.”

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