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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, media outlets reported that President Biden will nominate Jessica Rosenworcel as the chair of the Federal Communications Commission and former FCC staffer and longtime public-interest advocate Gigi Sohn as an FCC commissioner.

The president reportedly will nominate Alan Davidson of Mozilla, a former head of New America’s Open Technology Institute, as director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Free Press President and Co-CEO Craig Aaron said:

“Jessica Rosenworcel is a tremendous choice to lead the FCC at this crucial moment. She has proven in her years at the agency to be a champion of the public interest, with political savvy and an incredible depth of legal and technical knowledge. A smart and experienced leader, she knows how to both use the bully pulpit — and make sure all the details are right.

“She has a proven track record of getting big things done, whether it’s the key role she played in safeguarding and strengthening Net Neutrality protections as commissioner or leading the rollout of the Emergency Broadband Benefit to help people get and stay connected to high-speed internet during the pandemic. She knows the ins and outs of the agency and as interim chair already has talented staff in place — which is crucial given how long we have waited for the full commission to be seated. Rosenworcel is the first woman to be named permanent chair of the FCC, and we congratulate her on this historic accomplishment.

“Gigi Sohn is a devoted advocate for policies and programs that will help people and actually improve their lives. She brings significant experience inside the FCC and has long been a clarion voice outside of the building for what needs to change. Having worked alongside her on so many crucial issues, I know firsthand the passion and intelligence she will bring to this job. She is a strong leader and willing collaborator. Time and again, she has built broad and bipartisan coalitions to accomplish important goals. But she also knows how to fight for what’s right.

“Alan Davidson brings a wealth of experience to this essential role within the Commerce Department. Whether working in industry or with public-interest groups, 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.

“This is a dream team for anyone who cares about the future of the internet and the media. Nominating Rosenworcel, Sohn and Davidson would demonstrate the Biden administration’s commitment to making media and tech policy that will actually serve people.

“While these choices were worth the wait, there’s no time to waste and so much to get done: ensuring the billions being invested in broadband actually reach those who need it most, restoring Net Neutrality and Title II, reckoning with media regulators’ history on race and repairing the damage of the Trump years. We urge the Senate to move as quickly as possible to advance all of these nominees.”

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