It’s taken nearly months but the two Federal Communications Commission nominees, Republican Ajit Pai and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel, finally got the Senate nod, and the agency now has a full five-member panel to ponder upcoming decisions.
The nominations had been held hostage by Sen Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.), who was waiting for the full complement of FCC paperwork regarding licensing decisions regarding the struggling satellite broadband venture LightSquared, which he reportedly received last week.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, commented, “While this confirmation process was not easy, I am confident that Jessica and Ajit are ready to step into what I feel is one of the most difficult jobs in Washington. Ajit Pai has experience in both the private and public sectors, and brings a deep understanding of the communications challenges in rural America to his new role as FCC commissioner.”
And of his former staffer, the senator said, “Jessica Rosenworcel has spent nearly 15 years working on communications issues, and I believe there is no better-qualified person for this position."
Here are a few of the many industry reactions:
>> FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski: “I want to congratulate Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel on their Senate confirmation and welcome them to the commission. They bring deep knowledge of our sector and proven track records of accomplishment. President Obama made an outstanding choice in their nominations, and I look forward to working with them.”
>> ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka: “ACA salutes Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai on receiving Senate confirmation today to serve on the FCC, and ACA and its members look forward to working with these highly talented and dedicated public servants on the key issues handled by the agency. I am confident that both will continue the FCC’s long heritage of fact-based decision-making that promotes competition, stimulates private investment and innovation, and protects consumers and the public interest values we all cherish as Americans.? ?
He continued, “It’s encouraging that the new FCC Commissioners have a keen understanding of the profound impact FCC policy can have on a broad swath of industry participants, including smaller firms in smaller markets and rural areas, whether in West Virginia or Kansas. ACA is committed to working with all FCC commissioners on the adoption of effective policies that are fair, balanced and inclusive."
>> National Cable and Telecommunications Association CEO Michael Powell: "We know that they will each prove to be valuable additions to the commission, and we look forward to working with them to promote continued investment and innovation in the communications marketplace.”
>> CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent: "Their knowledge of communications issues and their experience in Washington will make them great assets for the commission."
>> Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn: "We look forward to working with them on the many challenging issues confronting the public, from major transactions to the disposition of spectrum.”