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It’s been a year since Gigi Sohn was nominated to the FCC—and internet rights groups are pissed

it's the longest a nomination has stalled.


Jacob Seitz


Posted on Oct 26, 2022   Updated on Oct 26, 2022, 3:19 pm CDT

Net neutrality proponents are calling out Senate Democrats after Gigi Sohn, President Joe Biden’s final nominee to fill out the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), still has not been confirmed after a year-long nomination process.

Sohn was officially nominated by Biden on Oct. 26, 2021 and has yet to be confirmed by the Senate, the longest any FCC candidate in history has waited for a vote.

“The U.S. Senate gets an ‘F’ in FCC,” said Free Press Action Internet Campaign Director Heather Franklin in a press release. “Gigi Sohn has been in limbo for a year now, preventing a deadlocked agency from passing crucial policies that would help people in the United States connect and communicate. This senseless delay is harming millions of people, especially working families trying to pay their rising monthly bills and those in Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and rural communities that the biggest phone and cable companies have long exploited and neglected.”

Sohn is largely popular among internet rights advocates and tech regulators, with a longstanding history of protecting digital freedoms and consumer privacy. But her path to the FCC has been held up by Republicans who have called her an “unqualified hack” with a bias against conservative media. In March, Sohn passed through the Senate Commerce Committee, setting up the possibility of a full confirmation vote that has yet to take place. Now, with the midterms just two weeks away and control of the Senate hanging in the balance, Sohn’s confirmation seems like an impossibility.

Tech advocacy groups are placing the blame for Sohn’s delay squarely at the feet of Senate Democrats, who they say didn’t do enough to push Sohn through.

“Remember how furious you were with Ajit Pai when he repealed #netneutrality?” said Evan Greer, director of internet rights group Fight for the Future. “You should be just as furious with @SenSchumer and Senate Democrats for the inexcusable delay in confirming Gigi Sohn to the FCC.”

“It has been a full year (!!!) since @gigibsohn was nominated to @FCC,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of digital rights group Free Press. “We need the Senate to do its job, reject the industry’s smear campaign, end this senseless delay, and confirm Gigi Sohn as soon as senators return after the election.”

Despite, however, a constant outcry over a lack of movement on Sohn’s nomination, the one-year anniversary is likely to pass without a vote.

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*First Published: Oct 26, 2022, 3:14 pm CDT