Biden Names Rosenworcel Acting Head of FCC

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President Joseph R. Biden designated FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission.

“I am honored to be designated as the acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Biden,” Rosenworcel said in a prepared release. “I thank the President for the opportunity to lead an agency with such a vital mission and talented staff.  It is a privilege to serve the American people and work on their behalf to expand the reach of communications opportunity in the digital age.”

Being named acting chairwoman of the FCC can open up significant opportunities for Rosenworcel to effect change at the agency, according the Brian Fontes, CEO of NENA, the 911 Association, who served as chief of staff for James Quello when he was acting FCC chairman in 1993. The FCC established the initial spectrum allocation and licensing process for the personal communications service during Quello’s year-long tenure.

“There are a lot of dockets open. Comments will be due, and reports and orders must be written. There are plenty of items where Jessica can move forward. Also, there may be some projects that she will go on to implement,” Fontes said. “In sum, the FCC can move forward without missing a heartbeat.”

Wireless association heads congratulated Rosenworcel on her elevation in the leadership of the FCC and pledged their willingness to work with her.

WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein said she has been a champion of broadband connectivity and that he looks forward to working with here in closing the homework gap.

“We have worked closely together for many years since my time at the FCC, and WIA and its members have always appreciated the opportunity to work with Rosenworcel when she was Commissioner to find ways to expand broadband to every corner of the country,” he said in a prepared text.”

NATE President and CEO Todd Schlekeway gave Rosenworcel his heartfelt congratulations, saying he looks forward to collaborating with her.

“NATE member companies continue to be on the front lines of deployment from coast to coast and look forward to working with the FCC on a diverse array of issues ranging from broadband coverage, next generation networks and technology, spectrum policy, workforce development and industry safety,” added Schlekeway.

Competitive Carrier Association President and CEO Steven K. Berry said he and his members “share her passion for closing the digital divide and look forward to working with her and the Commission to bring robust mobile wireless connectivity to all Americans.”

Claude Aiken, president and CEO of WISPA, Rosenworcel has been a “forward-thinking champion of bridging the digital divide, and of expanding access to broadband through, among other means, more unlicensed spectrum.”

“She has a tremendous understanding of how the FCC works, deep knowledge of communications law, FCC rules and policy precedents, and is keenly aware of the needs of the various stakeholders in our multi-faceted communications industry,” he said. “We look forward to working with her as she guides the FCC.”

Prior to joining the agency, she served as senior communications counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and Sen. Daniel Inouye. Before entering public service, Rosenworcel practiced communications law in Washington, D.C.

In her time at the commission, Rosenworcel has worked to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success.

“From fighting to protect net neutrality to ensuring access to the internet for students caught in the homework gap, she has been a consistent champion for connecting all. She is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the internet of things,” the press release said.

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