Senate Confirms Anna Gomez to FCC After Lengthy Deadlock

The Senate confirmed President Biden’s FCC nominee Anna Gomez yesterday in a 55-43 vote, bringing an end to a lengthy partisan split at the regulatory agency. Gomez, a communications policy adviser for the State Department, was nominated to fill the fifth commissioner’s seat in June following a year and half of Republican resistance to candidate Gigi Sohn. Gomez will become the third Democratic commissioner at the FCC, freeing the Biden administration to unlock its agenda regarding broadband and communications regulation. Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has recently been pursuing improvement of broadband access and updating rules related to space.

“Consumer advocates said the 2½-year delay hampered the FCC’s ability to carry out critical tasks aimed at protecting Americans from potential abuse by the telecom giants, including reinstating the Obama-era net neutrality regulations, which bar Internet service providers from blocking or throttling content,” reports The Washington Post.

The confirmation of Gomez could potentially “unlock the agency’s ability to carry out more aggressive oversight of the telecommunications sector,” notes WaPo, “which Biden called for in a 2021 executive order, including potentially imposing more stringent utility-style regulation under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.”

With the new majority, Rosenworcel’s FCC could revisit “the rollback of net neutrality rules and lightening of regulations on the communications sector, like mobile and broadband providers,” suggests TechCrunch. The FCC could “reinstate some of those rules with bolstered legal support, or take advantage of a newly skeptical climate in the tech world to write new broadband privacy regulations.”

We may learn more after the FCC meets on September 21.

“We congratulate Anna Gomez on her confirmation as FCC Commissioner and look forward to working with her in facilitating continued investment, innovation and expansion in the communications and media industries, and to fulfilling our nation’s ambition to ensure that all Americans have access to robust and reliable Internet service,” said Michael Powell, president and CEO of cable-industry trade group NCTA (and former FCC chairman).

“Ms. Gomez has earned a reputation for being thoughtful about policy and addressing issues with an open mind,” he added.

Gomez was senior adviser for international information and communications policy in the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy at the State Department and, prior to that, was a partner at Wiley LLP focusing on telecommunications media and technology. She served as deputy administrator for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and spent 12 years at the FCC in different roles. She is a graduate of George Washington University Law School.

Senate Confirms Anna Gomez to FCC, Breaking Yearslong Deadlock, CNBC, 9/7/23
Senate Confirms Anna Gomez to Break Joe Biden’s FCC Deadlock, The Verge, 9/7/23
Senate Confirms Anna Gomez to FCC, Breaking Deadlock, The Hill, 9/7/23
Anna Gomez Is President Biden’s Nominee for Key FCC Seat, ETCentric, 5/24/23

No Comments Yet

You can be the first to comment!

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.