Washington, D.C. – Today, the Senate Commerce Committee held a second hearing on whether to confirm Gigi Sohn as the next FCC Commissioner. RWA resoundingly supports her confirmation and looks forward to having a full slate of commissioners at the FCC to carry on much needed work to bring wireless broadband to rural America. In her hearing today, Sohn made clear that the issues raised related to the “Locast Settlement” and her narrowly designed recusal from the FCC’s broadcast retransmission consent docket will not impact her ability to be fair and unbiased in her role as an FCC Commissioner. She further scuttled the concept that her past role as a consumer interest advocate would hinder her ability to develop policies and rules that serve the American people.
The hearing made clear that continued delay of her confirmation is delaying action on numerous rural issues such as universal service reform (which impact the ongoing support of broadband in high cost areas) and spectrum access, as well as issues related to the deployment of 5G networks in rural areas – networks needed to provide precision agriculture to ensure that the US can meet its goal of doubling food production by 2060. RWA calls on the Senate Commerce Committee to approve her nomination and the full Senate subsequently to do the same.