Election 2020

Ajit Pai Bids Adieu

The leadership of regulatory agencies usually turns over with the change of federal administrations, so it’s no surprise that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he will step down after four years in the job. He leaves a notable legacy, especially after the mess he inherited from the Obama era. Pai’s largest contribution was rescuing the internet from the shackles of regulation that had been imposed by his predecessor, Tom Wheeler. He rescinded Mr.

Biden could face a deadlocked Federal Communications Commission

It’s looking increasingly likely that the incoming Biden administration will face a deadlocked Federal Communications Commission. There are increasing odds that the Biden administration’s FCC initially will have two Democrats and two Republicans — potentially complicating the president-elect's efforts to follow through on some of his key Internet policy promises. The future balance of the agency largely hinges on a Republican push to confirm Trump’s nominee, Nathan Simington, a Commerce Department aide who was very involved with the president’s efforts to crack down on tech companies to add

Reactions to Chairman Pai Announcing His Intention to Depart FCC

Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior counselor at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society: “The Pai agenda, in essence, has been to limit regulatory intrusions into the activities of companies subject to the regulatory authority of the FCC, particularly if they are large incumbent [telecom] companies.” He said the consequences of Pai’s reign have been vast for average American Internet users, leaving “fewer people who have access to broadband, fewer people who have access to diverse points of view over the air, and more people paying more for cable, wireless and wired In

Chairman Pai Announces Intent to Depart FCC on Inauguration Day

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he intends to leave the Federal Communications Commission on January 20, 2021.

Jessica Rosenworcel Eyed as Leading Contender for Top FCC Job

The Federal Communications Commission will soon shift to Democratic control, and speculation has already begun about who will assume the chairmanship under the Biden administration. Jessica Rosenworcel, the senior Democrat on the commission, is widely considered to be one of the leading candidates to succeed Ajit Pai in the powerful regulatory post. She has been vetted twice and would likely have a smooth path to confirmation, which would be a key consideration assuming the Senate remains in Republican hands. She also has the backing of Sen.

Trump’s controversial FCC pick is getting a committee vote -- it could have big implications for Biden’s plans

Nathan Simington, President Donald Trump’s controversial choice to be on the Federal Communications Commission, will get a vote Dec 2 from the Senate Commerce Committee on whether to advance his nomination to the full Senate. If Simington advances through the committee vote and then passes through a full vote in the Senate, he could put the FCC into a crunch for President-elect Joe Biden. If Simington’s nomination is approved, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai steps down from his post ahead of the nomination (which is traditional), it would leave the agency stuck with 4 commissioners, two from each

Blunt 2020 lessons for media, America

All of us — and the media, in particular — need some clear-eyed, humble self-reflection as the dust settles on the 2020 election results. The media remains fairly clueless about the America that exists outside of the big cities, where most political writers and editors live. The media (and many Democrats) are 

Tech firms fall short on misinformation targeting Latino voters, advocates say

Lapses in tech companies’ policies to address Spanish content led to a proliferation of misinformation targeting Latino voters around Election Day, according to several advocacy groups. Spanish misinformation campaigns largely mimicked those in English that cast doubt on the security of mail-in ballots, later calling into question the election results.

Net Neutrality Tops To-Do List for FCC Democrats in Biden Era

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to move to restore net neutrality rules after President-elect Joe Biden takes office, undoing the agency’s deregulation of the broadband industry during the Trump administration. The key regulatory underpinning would be a reclassification of broadband as a service under Title II of the Communications Act. That reclassification would enable the agency to reinstate rules requiring that companies like AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp.

Confirmation Mischief at the FCC

Approving federal judges is a priority for Mitch McConnell during the lame-duck session of Congress, but Republicans shouldn’t dither on confirming Nathan Simington to the Federal Communications Commission. He will be needed to oppose internet regulation early in a Biden Presidency. Simington’s confirmation is in jeopardy because of—who else?—President Trump. Republicans would be committing self-sabotage by scotching Simington’s confirmation.