Senate confirms Jessica Rosenworcel as first female FCC chair

Rosenworcel has been the acting chairwoman since January.

The Federal Communications Commission now has its first permanent chairwoman. The Senate voted 68 to 31 to confirm President Biden’s nomination of Jessica Rosenworcel, converting her acting chair role into an official (and additional) five-year term. Her temporary position was due to expire within weeks.

Not surprisingly, Rosenworcel signalled plans to maintain her existing policies of making communictions accessible to “everyone, everywhere.” The chairwoman has been a proponent of net neutrality and other regulations meant to keep large technology companies in check, contrasting sharply with the anti-regulation stance of former chair Ajit Pai.

The move gives the FCC some extra stability. However, it might not be the most important nomination. The White House is still waiting on the confirmation of Gigi Sohn to fill an empty commissioner seat. If she’s accepted, the FCC will have a 3-2 Democrat majority that’s more likely to support Biden’s telecom-related priorities. Rosenworcel may have to temper her expectations if the Commission remains in its current stalemate.