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Historic Nomination: Anna Gomez Chosen as Fifth Commissioner of FCC

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Attorney Anna Gomez has been proposed by US President Joe Biden to fill a key fifth position on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This action comes as Democrats have encountered challenges in their quest to win big on the five-member telecom regulator till 2021.

Currently serving as senior adviser for the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy of the State Department is Democratic telecommunications lawyer Anna Gomez. She is in charge of organizing the American delegation's preparations for the World Radio Conference in 2023.

In a recent news statement, President Biden announced his intention to nominate Democratic Commissioner Geoffrey Starks and Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr for another five-year terms. By doing so, he aims to ensure their continued service beyond their current terms, as Starks would otherwise have to depart in January and Carr's term would conclude in January 2025. President Biden's decision demonstrates his commitment to the bipartisan representation within the Federal Communications Commission.

From January 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has experienced a deadlock with a 2-2 tie, hindering the Democrats' endeavors to reinstate net neutrality regulations that were repealed during the tenure of Donald Trump. Internet service providers are prohibited by net neutrality legislation from blocking, slowing down, or giving preferential treatment through remunerated "fast lanes." This impasse has impeded the Democrats' efforts to restore a level playing field in the realm of internet access and ensure equal treatment for all online users.

Biden requested that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reinstate the net neutrality rules in an executive order that he signed. The rules were previously established in 2015 by Barack Obama, in July 2021.

Following opposition from industry opponents, Gigi Sohn, President Biden's original nominee for the vacant position, in March pulled back her nomination. This development occurred amidst a narrow 51-49 Senate majority held by Democrats. It is anticipated that Anna Gomez, the subsequent nominee, may encounter less resistance throughout the confirmation procedure compared to Sohn. Notably, Sohn's nomination had lingered for more than 16 months. The shift in nomination aims to facilitate a smoother confirmation process and fill the vacant seat more expeditiously.

Major telecommunications firms have backed Anna Gomez, with Comcast noting that she is exceptionally equipped to serve as a commissioner due to her broad knowledge of different FCC-related topics.

Before her current appointment, Anna Gomez held the position of deputy administrator at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration within the Commerce Department from 2009 to 2013. Prior to that, she amassed a wealth of experience during her 12-year tenure in various roles at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

She also served as an executive in government affairs at Sprint Nextel. Furthermore, Gomez worked as a partner at Wiley Rein LLP, a prominent Washington law firm, where she led the media and technology group. Her diverse background encompasses both public and private sector expertise, positioning her well for her current responsibilities.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has raised escalating concerns regarding Chinese telecommunications companies that were given operating permissions in the United States several decades in the past. In 2019, the FCC made the decision to deny China Mobile, which is a state-owned Chinese telecom company, the opportunity to offer services within the United State Consequently. The FCC took action to revoke authorizations for several other Chinese telecom carriers, among them China Telecom.

These actions reflect the FCC's growing apprehension about the involvement of these companies in the U.S. telecommunications sector and the potential risks associated with their operations.

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