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After Buffalo, Media and Tech Can’t Look Away Any Longer

This tragedy should be a catalyst to a fundamental reckoning.
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WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Alan Davidson to lead the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, where he will oversee spending of approximately $48 billion allocated in last year’s infrastructure bill to make broadband more affordable and available. Davidson previously served at the Commerce Department, led New America’s Open Technology Institute, and worked at Mozilla and Google.

Free Press Action Co-CEO Craig Aaron said:

“Alan Davidson brings a wealth of experience to this essential role within the Commerce Department. Whether working with public-interest groups or in industry, Alan has been a champion of the free and open internet throughout his career. He is an excellent, tech-savvy choice who will take a collaborative approach to his work across the government. We congratulate him on this tremendous achievement.

“With the signing of bipartisan infrastructure legislation last year, President Biden took a crucial first step toward fulfilling his administration’s promises to make broadband more open and affordable for everyone. Davidson will direct spending of the law’s funding for broadband deployment, digital inclusion and related investments in internet access, affordability and equity. All of this will help close the digital divide for millions of people.

“Davidson is an ideal choice to lead this work at the Commerce Department — but the NTIA can’t do it alone. The Senate must now turn its attention to confirming Gigi Sohn to the FCC and Alvaro Bedoya to the FTC. Senate leadership must fulfill the Biden administration’s commitment to making media and tech policy that will actually serve people.

“We urge the Senate Commerce Committee to call the votes for Sohn and Bedoya before the end of this month. Once that happens, Senate leaders must commit the necessary floor time to confirm these nominees as soon as possible and let them get to work. If we’re going to end the digital divide, protect privacy and keep any eye on powerful companies, we need to let these stellar public-interest advocates fill their roles now.”

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