Biden picks his broadband vanguard at FCC and Commerce Department

This article by John Hendel appeared in Politico on October 26.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his plans to tap acting Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel as the agency’s permanent chief, ending months of cliffhanger drama about the choice.

Biden bundled the long-awaited announcement with his decisions to nominate veteran public interest heavyweights Gigi Sohn for the sole open FCC commissioner seat and Alan Davidson to head the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a key telecom policy role in the Commerce Department.

POLITICO reported late Monday that the White House was preparing to announce the trio’s nominations.

Meet the broadband vanguard: These leaders would be at the front lines of the administration’s efforts to expand broadband internet service to every American, a cornerstone of the infrastructure efforts on Capitol Hill.

Under H.R. 3684 (117), the bipartisan infrastructure legislation that cleared the Senate in August, $65 billion would go to this goal, split among federal agencies including the FCC and NTIA. The FCC would be tasked with administering a broadband affordability subsidy to help consumers with their monthly bills and pass new rules to halt the practice known as digital redlining. The agency is also tasked with coming up with more accurate internet coverage maps to guide the billions in grants flowing to NTIA to support the build-out of physical internet infrastructure. NTIA would also be charged with administering grants dedicated to fostering digital equity.

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