Senate Commerce Committee to hear new term for FCC chair

Senate Commerce Committee to hear new term for FCC chair

WASHINGTON, November 10 - The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee said on Wednesday that it will hold a hearing for a new term for Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, but not immediately move forward with a hearing for another nominee for the telecommunications regulator.

In late last month, Biden nominated Rosenworcel for a new term on the five- member commission and designated her chair. Biden also nominated Gigi Sohn, a former senior aide to Tom Wheeler, who served as a FCC chairman under President Barack Obama, a Democrat. The Commerce Committee is not expected to hold a hearing on Sohn's nomination.

The committee will consider the nomination of Alvaro Bedoya to serve at the Federal Trade Commission at the hearing on November 17.

Biden waited for more than nine months to make nominations for the FCC, which has not been able to address some key issues because it currently has one vacancy and is divided 2 -- 2 between Democrats and Republicans.

The Commerce Committee will not immediately hold a hearing on the recent appointment of Alan Davidson, a senior adviser at Mozilla, to head the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the executive branch agency that is mainly responsible for advising the White House on telecommunications and information policy issues. Congress will give more than $42 billion in funding to expand internet access this month.

Without being confirmed for a new term, Rosenworcel would need to leave the FCC at the end of the year.

The FCC under Democrats will reinstate landmark net neutrality rules that were repealed under Trump.

The FCC, under President Barack Obama, took the net neutrality rules in 2015 that banned internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic or offering paid fast lanes.