FCC Fifth Commissioner Sworn In; Net Neutrality Rulemaking Circulated the Next Day

Posted on September 28th, 2023 by

On September 25, 2023, Anna Gomez was sworn in to fill the seat of the FCC’s fifth Commissioner and third Democratic appointee.  The delay in filling the seat is unprecedented to our knowledge, coming some two years and nine months after President Biden took office.

With a fifth Democratic-appointed commissioner on board, FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel wasted no time in circulating what will be a controversial rulemaking proposal to adopt so called “net neutrality” regulations to give the FCC authority over broadband providers under Title II of the Communications Act, resulting in regulatory treatment of those providers as public utilities.

While we are certain that other rulemakings directly affecting broadcasters will follow, the net neutrality rulemaking will grab headlines for the near future.  Republican Commissioners Carr and Simington have already issued statements lambasting the rulemaking attempt, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court will almost certainly overturn any new regulation under Title II as a violation of the “major questions” doctrine.