We Will Have a Dream Team FCC and NTIA, But You Still Have To Fight For Your Right To Broadband

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President Biden has finally made his critical telecommunications appointments to fill out the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA). As expected, Biden named Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel to serve as full chair and renominated her to fill her expired term. As hoped, he also nominated my former boss and all-around Telecom Boss Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] to be the third FCC Commissioner. In addition, Biden nominated Alan Davidson to serve as Administrator/Assistant Secretary for the NTIA. This trio (combined with already serving FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, a champion of privacy and inclusion) is as potentially transformational in telecom policy as the appointment of Lina Kahn and Alvaro Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission. Yet one of the biggest mistakes that people keep making in policy and politics is electing or appointing the right people and going home to let them solve the problems; then, when things don't work out, people get disappointed. Incumbents are not going to simply surrender to new policies, and political power has limits. This will be especially true if Congress flips in 2022. So while this is definitely cause for celebration, we are going to have to fight harder than ever to get the policies we need to create the broadband (and media) we need — starting with the fight to get the nominees confirmed. Assuming confirmation, we have an unmatched opportunity for real change.

[Harold Feld is Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge.]

We Will Have a Dream Team FCC (and NTIA) — But You Still Have To Fight For Your Right To Broadband!