Hold on FCC's Rosenworcel Nomination Lifted

Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have lifted their holds on the re-nomination of Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to a second term on the FCC.

Markey's office had cited his questioning of the commissioner's commitment to consumers and competition, tied to her perceived issues with the set-top box proposal Markey had helped prompt the FCC to propose.

Markey's office confirmed that the hold had been lifted, with a source in Markey's office speaking on background saying the senator had positive conversations with Rosenworcel and what they called a commitment to proceeding on remaining items before the commission.

If so, and if that included the set-top proposal, it would fly in the face of Republican warnings about voting any controversial items still before the commission. The set-top proposal and another contentious item, the business data services proposal, were pulled from public meetings but remain on circulation, meaning they could be approved if there are three Democratic votes.

But if that happens, Republicans in Congress would likely try to invalidate them using legislative levers.

Even though FCC chairman Tom Wheeler pulled them off the agenda, he signaled he was still hopeful for action.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.