The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation voted today to bring nominations for the Federal Communications Commission to a floor vote against dissent from multiple Republican senators.
The vote considered the renomination of commissioners Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks and the nomination of Democrat Anna Gomez, who currently serves as senior advisor for international information and communications policy in the State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy.
The vote paves the way for a total Senate vote, an opportunity that didn’t occur for Gomez’s predecessor as nominee for the open Democratic seat, Gigi Sohn. Sohn’s nomination was withdrawn after it was trashed by Republicans and a Democrat who failed to support her.
Most trade organizations did not support Sohn’s nomination but supported Gomez after today’s vote.
The Competitive Carriers Association for wireless providers applauded the Senate’s action, claiming that Starks and Carr have “distinguished themselves in their service at the FCC, understanding the issues affecting competitive wireless carriers, particularly those serving smaller communities and rural parts of America.”
It also stated that Gomez will bring “significant public policy experience and service to a critical role.” It urged Congress to confirm the nominees as soon as possible.
“NATE congratulates Brendan Carr, Geoffrey Starks, and Anna Gomez on advancing through the next step in this process and encourages the U.S. Senate to act quickly to confirm all three nominees,” said President & CEO Todd Schlekeway. “Having a full slate of five Commissioners and a continuity of the agency’s leadership is crucial given the myriad of broadband, wireless infrastructure, permitting, spectrum, and workforce development issues currently confronting the industry,” added Schlekeway.
WISPA – Broadband Without Boundaries congratulated the nominees, stating, “Each brings years of experience and know-how to the table, which will help America’s vibrant communications marketplace continue to grow and ably serve consumers. “
On top of spectrum policy, WISPA said it hopes the newly composed FCC will also thoughtfully address the following:
- Where needed, targeted subsidy programs that expedite broadband deployment to unserved locations in a technology-flexible and cost-effective manner.
- Fast and fair access to infrastructure for broadband deployments no matter the location, whether Federal, state, municipal, or private.
- And, should they be necessary, laws and regulations are right-sized for small companies.