Tim Bryan Praises FCC Nominee Anna Gomez
RTC CEO Tim Bryan recently praised Anna Gomez and supported Senate confirmation of her nomination to serve on the FCC. The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a June 22 hearing to review the nominations of Gomez, as well as sitting Commissioners Geoffrey Starks and Brendan Carr, who the Biden Administration nominated for new terms.
In a recent letter to Commerce Committee leaders, Bryan recalled working with Gomez a decade ago during the formation of FirstNet, a nationwide wireless network for first responders.
“Anna has an agile and open mind – willing to focus on the mission and the outcome, letting process serve the results, not process for process’ sake. Anna proved able to assemble the needs of a wide variety of stakeholders, many of whom held widely divergent views, into a consensus, and then into an action plan,” said Bryan, who was a member of FirstNet’s founding board of directors.
At the time Gomez was deputy administrator for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the government agency the oversaw FirstNet’s creation. Earlier in her career, Gomez also held several positions at the FCC, including as a legal assistant to former Chairman William Kennard. She is also a former staff counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee. Currently, she is an attorney for the State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy.
Gomez confirmation would break a 2-2 partisan tie on the FCC that has existed since the beginning of the Biden Administration. Controversial nominee Gigi Sohn withdrew her nomination after a two-year fight. Gomez with her extensive experience with telecommunications issues and reputation for developing compromises is expected to have an easier time gaining approval.
“A dedicated public servant with a broad range of experiences working for service providers and in key leadership roles on telecommunications policy at several agencies, [Gomez] has a thorough understanding of the challenges of ensuring that all Americans have access to reliable and affordable connectivity,” Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association said in a statement. Bloomfield also endorsed the reappointments of Starks and Carr.
Update, June 23: The Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the Gomez, Starks and Carr nominations went forward on schedule yesterday. “While Congress has given the FCC many important tools to close the digital divide, there is still much work to be done to ensure that every person in every community, regardless of geography or income, has access to high-speed broadband,” Gomez said in written testimony. “I have experienced the fear of not being able to afford a telephone bill. I know what it means to risk the loss of connection. Ensuring that everyone in rural, tribal, suburban, and urban communities can get and stay connected is critical to next-century success for us all.” According to reports, committee questions centered on issues including net neutrality and the recent FCC decision to block a major transfer of radio and TV licenses without a full Commission vote. A committee vote on the nominations is likely in coming weeks.