Benjamin Din

FCC nominee Gigi Sohn will not receive a confirmation vote on December 15

The Senate Commerce Committee will not be voting next week on Federal Communications Commission nominee Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society]’s nomination because some committee members asked for more time to meet with her. That’s another ominous sign for her nomination, in the wake of fierce GOP criticism. And it seems to ensure that her possible confirmation — which is required to secure a Democratic majority at the FCC — won’t happen until 2022.

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel's success was a long time coming

Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel was reconfirmed December 7 by a 68-31 vote to another five-year term at the agency, but that success didn’t come from out of the blue. She’s been working the phones for a while now. Immediately after President Joe Biden won the 2020 election, Rosenworcel began making calls. She spoke to key Democrats like Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Rep Anna Eshoo (D-CA). She also reached across the aisle to Republicans like Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS), who voted to confirm her.

Trail of tweets haunts President Biden’s FCC and FTC nominees

Republican senators are alleging that the Twitter histories of Federal Communications Commission nominee Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] and Federal Trade Commission nominee Alvaro Bedoya, which include jabs at Fox News and

Chamber of Commerce’s fight with FTC heats up

The Federal Trade Commission has hit back against the US Chamber of Commerce, denying 35 of the 37 public records requests filed by the lobbying group about the FTC’s voting rules, policy statements and plans to fine businesses who break the law. The Chamber had come out swinging before Thanksgiving, accusing the agency of “going rogue” with its actions.

President Biden’s FCC and FTC picks make final pitch to Senate

Ahead of the December 1 vote in the Senate Commerce Committee, Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, who’s been re-nominated to another term as commissioner, and Federal Trade Commission nominee Alvaro Bedoya answered questions from lawmakers on topics ranging from broadband and spectrum use to social media use and antitrust. Rosenworcel told senators point-blank that she had no plans to regulate broadband rates — a concern prompted after she previously seemed open to the option as a way to increase broadband access.

Telecommunications nominees spell out priorities on broadband, spectrum

Broadband and spectrum issues are top of mind for Gigi Sohn and Alan Davidson, President Joe Biden’s picks for the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications Information Administration, respectively. Ahead of their confirmation hearings before the Senate Commerce Committee on Dec 1 (where there’s expected to be plenty of fireworks), they shared with lawmakers what they view are the top challenges facing their agencies:

FCC watchdog warns against broadband subsidy fraud

Some broadband providers are falsely claiming their customers have children who attend high-poverty schools in order to qualify them for an FCC broadband affordability subsidy, the agency’s Office of Inspector General warned in a November 22 memo.

Sen Cantwell talks timeline of Senate confirmation hearings for Gigi Sohn and Alan Davidson

Not included in the November 17 Senate confirmation hearing were Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society], President Biden’s pick for the open Federal Communications Commission seat, and Alan Davidson, the nominee to helm the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Sen Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has stated their confirmation hearing will likely take place the week the Senate returns from its Thanksgiving break, with December 1 a prime contender.

Senate heads into tech and telecom sprint

Senators' year-end to-do list includes key Federal Communications Commission nominations and more funding for broadband and antitrust efforts. All eyes are on the Democrats’ social spending package, which includes money for broadband and antitrust enforcement and gives the Federal Trade Commission a long-sought fining authority. White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese projected confidence that the House would pass the package this week. Even if that happens, it will still need Senate approval, which will likely be pushed to December.

Senators go for tech and telecom goodies in defense bill

When senators return to Washington next week, one of the most pressing issues they’ll face is passing the National Defense Authorization Act, which has been pushed back much further than usual. Lawmakers have filed nearly 700 amendments to the annual defense bill, including several related to tech and telecom. Politico has compiled a list of major Democrat, Republican, and bipartisan amendments in these areas.