INCOMPAS to Hill: We Need a Full FCC Now

FCC's 2020 seal
(Image credit: FCC)

INCOMPAS and a handful of other communications trade associations are urging Congress to fill the empty fifth seat on the Federal Communications Commission ASAP.

FCC nominee Anna Gomez

Anna Gomez (Image credit: Wiley Rein)

The Biden administration has nominated Anna Gomez to fill the long-unfilled third Democratic seat on the FCC. Gomez is a veteran communications attorney and policy adviser who has been on the corporate as well as government side of policy debates.

The nomination comes as a package deal of sorts with the renominations of two sitting commissioners, Democrat Geoffrey Starks and Republican Brendan Carr.

In a letter to the chair and ranking members of the Senate Commerce Committee that will vet the nominees, net-neutrality rule fan INCOMPAS, which represents internet, streaming, communications and technology companies, was joined by ACT: The App Association, the Consumer Technology Association, the Chamber of Progress, Technet and NTCA: The Rural Broadband Association.

The groups told Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the chair, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the ranking member, that its members rely on a fully functioning FCC, the suggestion being there has not been one in the two-plus years that the FCC has been at a 2-2 political tie.

“FCC Commissioners Carr and Starks are proven leaders and dedicated public servants who warrant swift reconfirmations,” they told the senators. “Likewise, Ms. Gomez is highly qualified for the position of FCC commissioner.”

The groups said there needed to be a confirmation hearing as soon as possible “so that our industry has the certainty it needs with an agency that has all five Commissioner slots filled.”

President Joe Biden had tried to seat veteran public advocacy executive and former Democratic FCC adviser Gigi Sohn, but drew pushback from Republicans and a couple of Democrats, as well as broadcast, cable and broadband industry players. Sohn eventually withdrew from consideration

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.