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Rosenworcel, Carr Get Washington Welcome

The confirmations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr to five-year terms on the FCC last week drew a crowd of reactors as the FCC prepared to be at full strength—five commissioners—as it gets ready to take on net neutrality and media ownership reg reviews, not to mention 5G, a new broadcast transmission standard and repacking most of a thousand TV stations in the wake of the incentive spectrum auction.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai failed to get Senate reconfirmation for a new term—his current term expired at the end of June—but he can serve until the end of 2018 even without confirmation to a new term.

Carr and Rosenworcel were approved via unanimous consent, which is an off-the-floor fast-track vote, but Pai will likely have to wait for a floor vote when Congress reconvenes in September so Democrats can make their displeasure with Pai's planned net neutality rollback clear.

“I congratulate Brendan and Jessica on their confirmations," said Pai. "As I know from working with each of them for years, they have distinguished records of public service and will be valuable assets to the FCC in the years to come. Their experience at the FCC makes them particularly well-suited to hit the ground running. I’m pleased that the FCC will once again be at full strength and look forward to collaborating to close the digital divide, promote innovation, protect consumers, and improve the agency’s operations.”

“With a full plate of issues, America needs a full set of FCC commissioners at the table," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering. "We wish to congratulate both Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr on their Senate confirmations and look forward to working with them both on building a more open, competitive internet and broadband future.

"Jessica is a champion for the future and has always placed students, schools, public safety and the law of competition at the forefront of her policy-making. Brendan has a deep well of substantive spectrum and agency knowledge and we look forward to learning more about his vision for better broadband."

"ACA is very pleased that the U.S. Senate today confirmed Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel to serve on the Federal Communications Commission," said American Cable Association President Matt Polka. "Both have the experience and knowledge to implement the nation's communications laws in a manner that best serves the public interest."

“On behalf of our members, WISPA looks forward to working with Commissioners Carr and Rosenworcel to develop policies that encourage the accelerated, cost-effective, deployment of fixed-broadband to rural America,” said Alex Phillips, president of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA)."

“The MPAA congratulates Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel on their confirmations to serve as FCC commissioners," said Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Chris Dodd. "As a former appellate law clerk and veteran of the FCC, with three years of experience advising Chairman Pai and time in the General Counsel's Office, including as its top lawyer, Mr. Carr is well positioned to promote investment, innovation, and sound communications policy. Commissioner Rosenworcel has served ably at the FCC both as a commissioner and as a staffer, and as counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee. We are certain she will add to that record of distinction in a new term. The MPAA looks forward to working with Commissioners Carr and Rosenworcel.”

“We congratulate FCC nominees Ajit Pai, Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr for their approval by the Senate Commerce Committee and encourage the full Senate to swiftly move ahead with their nominations," said NCTA: The Natoinal Cable & Telecommunications Association said in a statement. "Each of these nominees is thoroughly qualified to serve at the FCC and we look forward to working with a full slate of commissioners soon.”

“CTIA and the wireless industry congratulate Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr on their FCC confirmation, " said Meredith Attwell Baker, president of the wireless association. "At a pivotal time for the future of wireless, it is important to have such strong leaders and technology experts at the FCC. We look forward to working with them to spur investment, growth and job creation in one of our nation’s most important economic drivers.”

“T-Mobile welcomes Jessica Rosenworcel back to the FCC and we look forward to working with Brendan Carr as a new Commissioner," said Kathleen Ham, senior VP of government affairs for T-Mobile U.S.

"Commissioners Carr and Rosenworcel are each experienced professionals who will bring new energy and ideas to address the many important issues that come before the FCC," said Verizon senior VP WIll Johnson. "They have each been strong advocates for promoting broadband expansion, working to close the digital divide, and enhancing the communications capabilities available to first responders. They also each have a deep knowledge of the wireless industry and have worked to ensure that the United States maintains its global lead as we move to 5G.Johnson also added a shout out for action on Pai's nomination.

“We now urge the Senate to move swiftly to confirm Chairman Ajit Pai on his re-nomination.  Given the many important issues before the Commission – whether encouraging rural broadband deployment, enhancing public safety, or paving the way for the next-generation of wireless services – the American people need a full Commission at work for them.  We believe this Commission, under Chairman Pai’s leadership, will continue to do great things to promote a vibrant communications industry that improves the lives of all Americans.”

“Sprint applauds the confirmation of Commissioners Rosenworcel and Carr and looks forward to working with the entire Commission on the important policy discussions that will support industry innovation and next generation wireless networks," said the telco in a statement. "With a full roster of commissioners, the FCC can now focus on 5G deployment and broadband services of the future that will pave the way for new investments in wireless infrastructure, leading to more jobs, and greater connectivity across the country.”

"It is a pleasure to see Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel return to the FCC to continue her work promoting innovation and American leadership in the digital economy and to welcome Commissioner Brendan Carr," said Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro. "We look forward to working with each of them to tackle some of the most pressing and pertinent issues facing our industry, including freeing up additional spectrum for licensed and unlicensed use. “

Shapiro also put in a plug for Pai."We also urge the full Senate to take swift action on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the Senate Commerce Committee to approve the nomination of David Redl to lead the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)."

“TIA congratulates Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel on being confirmed to the Federal Communications Commission. Having a full complement of Commissioners is particularly important as the Commission considers major policies that will transform how we stay connected and remain competitive," said Cinnamon Rogers, senior VP at the Telecommunications Industry Association. "From making more spectrum available to meet the growing demand for mobile broadband, to the advancement of 5G networks, improved public safety communications platforms and IoT applications, these issues and others will have a significant effect on the economy, empowering consumers and businesses alike.

“Adding two Commissioners with deep experience in communications policy will help the Commission seamlessly continue and accelerate its work. We look forward to working with Commissioners Carr and Rosenworcel in the months and years ahead.”

“We congratulate Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr on their confirmations to the Federal Communications Commission today," said Comcast senior executive VP David Cohen. "Both Commissioners will make valuable contributions to the FCC agenda.  With Chairman Pai's leadership and a full slate of FCC Commissioners, we look forward to continuing to work on regulatory actions that spur innovation and are pro-consumer and pro-investment.”

“I have had the great pleasure of working with Jessica and Brendan during my tenure at the FCC, and greatly admire Ajit’s longstanding commitment to policy that promotes investment and innovation," said Robert McDowell, chief public policy advisor for Mobile Future and himself a former FCC commissioner. I know that each of them wields both broad and deep expertise in telecommunications and technology policy. Once approved by the Senate, the nominees will be able to continue their critical work in implementing telecommunications policies that serve all Americans.”

“Former Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and current General Counsel Brendan Carr are committed public servants who will work tirelessly on behalf of consumers and innovators alike at the Federal Communications Commission," said USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter. "We look forward to Chairman Ajit Pai’s confirmation for a new term soon but are pleased that the Senate moved quickly to confirm these two dedicated nominees so the agency will once again have a full house. The full commission can count on USTelecom and its members to work with it to advance policies that promote network investment and close the digital divide to ensure all Americans, regardless of where they live, can access high-speed broadband internet service.”

“I congratulate Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr on being confirmed by the Senate to serve as Commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission," said FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. "I am confident that both Jessica and Brendan will carry on the Commission’s important work when it comes to closing the digital divide, promoting competition and defending the public interest.”

“I appreciate the U.S. Senate approving the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr, both of whom I know well, for seats at the Commission," said FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly. "I look forward to my ‘new’ colleagues being sworn in and the opportunity to work with them in the months ahead on important communications issues for the benefit of the American people.”

“We are glad that the Senate approved the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr as FCC commissioners," said Parents Television Council President Tim Winter. "We trust that they will put the needs of parents and families first as they consider a range of media issues, such as broadcast indecency law enforcement and ensuring that television ratings accurately reflect the content on screen. We look forward to working with them. We urge the Senate to also reconfirm Ajit Pai as Chairman as soon as possible.”

Pai has pledged to enforce the indecency rules on the books.

“We at Charter congratulate Commissioners Rosenworcel and Carr on their confirmation by the U.S. Senate to serve on the Federal Communications Commission," said Charter EVP Catherine Bohigian. "We look forward to their leadership and appreciate the opportunity to work with them on issues of importance to all Americans like incentivizing and accelerating the deployment of high-speed broadband to more Americans and establishing policies that will spur the development of the next generation of wireless services.”

"America’s Public Television Stations congratulate Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr on their confirmation by the Senate today to serve as Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission," said Patrick Butler, president of America's Public Television Stations. "We very much appreciate Commissioner Rosenworcel’s deep understanding of public television’s regulatory issues, and we look forward to working with Commissioner Carr to advance public television’s missions of education, public safety and civic leadership. We are confident that the FCC is now extraordinarily well equipped to deal successfully with its challenging agenda, including the expeditious approval of the Next Generation broadcast standard, ensuring a smooth post-auction channel repacking process, and reforming the broadcast regulatory structure to reflect the realities of the 21st century.”

“CenturyLink is excited that Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel have been confirmed to serve as FCC commissioners," the company said in a statement, "and we look forward to working with them,” said David Bartlett, CenturyLink vice president of federal government affairs.  “Carr and Rosenworcel are dedicated public servants who understand the challenges and opportunities we face in serving consumers and businesses in a rapidly evolving and converging digital economy.”

John Eggerton
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.