Today’s Regulatory Mix: Jessica Rosenworcel Designated Acting FCC Chair, FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter Designated Acting Chair of the Agency, FCC Annual Broadband Report Shows digital Divide is Rapidly Closing,
Jessica Rosenworcel Designated Acting FCC Chair
Today, President Joseph R. Biden designated FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission. Rosenworcel released the following statement:
“I am honored to be designated as the Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Biden. I thank the President for the opportunity to lead an agency with such a vital mission and talented staff. It is a privilege to serve the American people and work on their behalf to expand the reach of communications opportunity in the digital age.”
In her time at the Commission, Rosenworcel has worked to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success. From fighting to protect net neutrality to ensuring access to the internet for students caught in the Homework Gap, she has been a consistent champion for connecting all. She is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the internet of things.
FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter Designated Acting Chair of the Agency
President Joseph R. Biden designated Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission. Slaughter has served as a Commissioner since May 2018.
“I am deeply honored and grateful to lead an agency that is critical to helping the U.S. economy get back on its feet and function more fairly for all Americans,” Slaughter said. “I want to express my sincere appreciation for the excellent leadership of Chairman Simons during a time of unprecedented challenges.”
As a Commissioner, Slaughter has been an advocate for greater resources for the FTC and promoted equity and inclusion efforts. She has championed aggressive use of the FTC’s authorities. She has also been particularly outspoken about combatting systemic racism, growing threats to competition, and the broad abuse of consumers’ data.
“The best part of serving at the FTC is working with our incredibly dedicated and talented staff. Their expertise, creativity, and steadfast commitment have filled me with confidence that we will be able to meet the formidable challenges facing our markets and the American people today,” Slaughter said of her new role.
FCC Annual Broadband Report Shows Digital Divide is Rapidly Closing
The Federal Communications Commission today released its annual Broadband Deployment Report, which shows that significant progress has been made to bridge the digital divide. For example, the gap between urban and rural Americans with access to 25/3 Mbps fixed broadband service has been nearly halved, falling from 30 percentage points at the end of 2016 to just 16 points at the end of 2019. Additionally, more than three-quarters of those Americans in areas newly served in 2019—nearly 3.7 million—live in rural areas, bringing the number of rural Americans in areas served by at least 25/3 Mbps broadband service to nearly 83%, up 15 points since 2016. The report showed an overall decrease of more than 20% in the number of Americans without access to 25/3 Mbps broadband service since last year’s report, from more than 18.1 million at the end of 2018 to fewer than 14.5 million at the end of 2019.
“From my first day as Chairman, the FCC’s top priority has been closing the digital divide. It’s heartening to see these numbers, which demonstrate that we’ve been delivering results for the American people,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “In just three years, the number of American consumers living in areas without access to fixed broadband at 25/3 Mbps has been nearly cut in half. I’ve personally met some of these consumers, from Mandan, North Dakota to Ethete, Wyoming. And over the last two years, the percentage of rural Americans without access to mobile broadband with a median speed of 10/3 Mbps has been slashed from over 35% to under 10%. Moreover, at the end of 2019, mobile providers offered 5G service to approximately 60% of Americans, a figure that is substantially higher today.
“These successes resulted from forward-thinking policies that removed barriers to infrastructure investment and promoted competition and innovation. I look forward to seeing the Commission continue its efforts to ensure that all Americans have broadband access. Especially with the success of last year’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction, I have no doubt that these figures will continue to imp prove as auction winners deploy networks in the areas for which they got FCC funding.”
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.