The Senate last week voted 55-43 to confirm Anna Gomez as the newest member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), giving Democrats a majority of commissioner seats at the agency.
“Americans need an FCC that is fully equipped to expand access to affordable high-speed internet, protect and strengthen local news broadcasting, and promote spectrum innovation and emerging technologies,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, in a Sept. 7 statement. “With today’s bipartisan vote confirming Anna Gomez as its fifth commissioner, the FCC has gained an extremely qualified, thoughtful leader who will bring her expertise and consumer-focus to deliver on these priorities.”
President Biden nominated Gomez in May, in a push for a Democratic majority at the agency. The five-seat commission was stuck with a 2-2 split among Republican and Democratic commissioners for over two years.
Gomez, who most recently served as a senior advisor in the State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, was nominated after President Biden’s previous nominee, Gigi Sohn, withdrew her nomination after a long, uphill battle with Senate Republicans.
Before joining the State Department, Gomez served as the deputy assistant secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration during the Obama administration.
“Congratulations to Anna Gomez on her confirmation by the United States Senate. I look forward to welcoming her to the Commission,” said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel.
“Anna brings with her a wealth of telecommunications experience, a substantial record of public service, and a history of working to ensure the United States stays on the cutting edge of keeping us all connected,” Rosenworcel said. “Her international expertise will be a real asset to the agency. I look forward to working with her to advance the agency’s mission to ensure the benefits of modern communications reach everyone, everywhere and that the United States can continue to lead in the digital age.”
Gomez’s confirmation was met with praise from affordable broadband advocates and industry groups.
“A longtime advocate for increasing broadband access, Anna Gomez has a clear understanding of the challenges Americans face in securing reliable, affordable connectivity,” said American Library Association President Emily Drabinski. “With her experience chairing the FCC Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, digital equity is sure to be a priority in the Commission’s policymaking.”
In a press release, AT&T Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations Rhonda Johnson said, “Anna has long demonstrated a passion for public service, a deep knowledge of telecommunications issues, and a thoughtful and studied approach to policymaking. We look forward to working with her and the full Commission to continue driving forward our shared priority of connecting all Americans through home and mobile broadband.”
Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) President and CEO Robert E. Branson said in a statement, “MMTC congratulates Anna Gomez on her confirmation to the FCC. Having worked with her for numerous years, we know her telecommunications policymaking expertise will be a major asset to the agency. MMTC is excited to continue its working relationship with Gomez and her fellow commissioners.”