GREAT NEWS: President Joe Biden made three well-suited nominations to critical positions at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) this week.
The FCC and NTIA will take on an outsized role in closing the digital divide over the next few years. Given this, strong leadership dedicated to advancing digital equity is necessary—making Biden’s nominations great choices for the challenges ahead.
For FCC Chair, he nominated Jessica Rosenworcel, who has served as the acting chairwoman since Biden assumed office. Jessica Rosenworcel is committed to bridging the “homework gap” and has overseen the roll-out and implementation of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. On October 1, 2021, she joined NDIA’s Angela Siefer, executive director, and Wanda Davis, NDIA board member, for a discussion on the Emergency Broadband Benefit program on Instagram Live.
For the open fifth Commissioner seat, President Biden nominated Gigi Sohn, a leading advocate for digital inclusion and equity. Gigi Sohn is a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society. Sohn has been a long-time supporter and ally of NDIA and our affiliates. She was the keynote speaker at NDIA’s first Net Inclusion Conference in 2016.
In addition, President Biden nominated Alan Davidson as Assistant Secretary and Administrator for NTIA. A supporter of NDIA’s work, Davidson is currently a vice president at the Mozilla Foundation, and was formerly the director of the Open Technology Institute and New America’s vice president for technology policy and strategy.
These nominations are huge steps forward in the fight for digital equity, and we are confident that Rosenworcel, Sohn, and Davidson will be effective leaders and problem solvers in their new roles.
However, these nominees are only nominees and have not yet been confirmed by the Senate. With the infrastructure bill on the horizon, the FCC and NTIA will soon play an important role in administering the expected influx of money for digital equity and broadband programs. As such, it is crucial that these nominees are confirmed as soon as possible. NDIA urges the Senate to confirm these nominees before the holidays. Free Press has set up an opportunity to take further action to this effect.