Biden calls for high-speed internet across America – but fails to mention stalled Gigi Sohn nomination

In his State of the Union deal with to Congress on Tuesday night time, President Joe Biden cited his bipartisan infrastructure invoice, saying it might assist shut America’s digital divide.

“These projects will engage hundreds of thousands of people across America to rebuild our highways, bridges, railroads, tunnels, ports and airports, clean water and high-speed internet,” Biden stated in his speech.

“We make sure every community has access to affordable, high-speed internet,” the president stated. “No parent should have to drive into a McDonald’s parking lot so their child can do their homework online.”

Whereas Biden’s infrastructure act — together with current COVID aid tasks — has allotted an unprecedented amount of cash to restore the nation’s broadband woes, there’s only one downside: Biden’s election to the Federal Communications Fee (FCC) continues to be pending. Approval not acquired.

And earlier than a packed Congress, together with a majority of senators who’ve to approve Gigi Sohn’s nomination for the FCC, Biden’s speech contained no mention of Sohn or his stalled nomination.

Within the textual content of Biden’s White Home speech, the president made no mention of Sohn or the deadlocked FCC, which is paralyzed in spending new cash authorised by Congress.

Within the two years since taking workplace, Biden didn’t have a completely staffed FCC, and Sohn fell in need of the nomination and died for the primary time for the reason that 2022 Senate midterm elections. There was no additional motion since Biden renamed it.

Because it stands, caught at 2-2, there’s little likelihood the FCC will likely be in a position to approve new broadband playing cards that can assist the cash roll out. And not using a Democratic majority, the FCC has additionally been unable to restore internet neutrality or chase down the huge telecom monopolies that maintain internet costs excessive and companies lagging behind.

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That stated, with out a nudge from the president to endorse Sohn on the widest doable platform, his promise rings hole.

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*Preliminary publication: Feb 7, 2023 at 8:57 PM CST

david covucci

David Kovuchi is the Day by day Dot’s senior politics and know-how editor, reporting on the connection between Washington and Silicon Valley. Her work has appeared in Vice, The Huffington Publish, Jezebel, Gothamist, and different publications. He’s particularly serious about listening to your concepts. please flip [email protected]


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