FCC chair advises industry to “think big”
February 1, 2021
By Chris Forrester
Acting FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel, in making her debut speech to staff, has called for the communications industry to “think big, and act”. She argues that the future belongs to those connected.
She, and most of the FCC’s staff are working from home because of the pandemic, and said that she appreciated how challenging this was.
“It seemed like overnight our daily routines pivoted from commuting to the office to working from kitchen tables and living rooms. We’ve all had to adjust to new ways of being that help keep us safe. As difficult as it is, this pandemic has also demonstrated how important our work is at the FCC. Because as a nation we need connections – physical and digital – that strengthen our mutual bonds. We benefit from communications that reach all and help us work, learn, be informed, enlightened, and entertained. And we need connections that can break down barriers that for too long have held too many back,” said Rosenworcel.
She outlined the creation of the $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Fund, funded by Congress. commenting: “Congress directed us to establish an Emergency Broadband Benefit to expand access to high-speed connections and assist those struggling in the ongoing economic crisis. It tasked the agency with expanded support for telehealth and provided funding that will make our networks more powerful and more secure.”
Rosenworcel said there was more work to do to continue the FCC’s history-making wireless and auction policies that serve as a global model, adding: “We have work to do to keep media policies current, while also honoring our longstanding values of competition, localism, and diversity. We have work to do to ensure that all students have the internet access they need for a fair shot at 21st century success, no matter who they are or where they live. And we have work to do to ensure open, reliable, and affordable broadband reaches 100% of this country—rural areas, urban areas, and everything in between.”