President Biden’s pick for a tie-breaking seat on the FCC has just withdrawn her nomination. Gigi Sohn was nominated in October 2021 to serve as a telecommunications regulator and her nomination has been deadlocked for over a year.
The FCC is typically run by a board up to 5 commissioners and President Biden’s FCC has been stuck at a 2-2 tie during his presidency. So the FCC has been operating without a fifth member for over two years which has left the FCC deadlocked with 2 democrats and 2 republicans.
Without a fifth member, the FCC is mostly nonfunctional.
Sohn’s nomination has allegedly been stalled due to big media corporations as Sohn has previously suggested. “I think there are certain very large companies that would like the FCC continue to be deadlocked. It’s no secret.”
“It is a sad day for our country and our democracy when dominant industries, with assistance from unlimited dark money, get to choose their regulators. And with the help of their friends in the Senate, the powerful cable and media companies have done just that,” Sohn stated.
Sohn, a consumer advocate with decades of experience in technology privacy law, further added “[t]his means that your broadband will be more expensive for lack of competition, minority and underrepresented voices will be marginalized, and your private information will continue to be used and sold at the whim of your broadband provider….”
Sohn is considered a legal telecom expert, a Georgetown Law fellow, co-founder of the group Public Knowledge, and was an advisor to former FCC chair Tom Wheeler.
As we’ve reported previously, Sohn has faced many personal attacks with many opposing her nomination. Until the FCC fills the fifth seat, it appears there will not be any meaningful change regarding net neutrality rules, internet rules, tech privacy laws or any meaningful oversight on the telecom industry.
We’ll keep an eye on this.