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Biden’s FCC Is Having Trouble Getting Started

There hasn’t been a full slate of commissioners, and the slow-moving confirmation of Gigi Sohn has pushed back potential action.
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Photo illustration: 731; Photo: Bloomberg

After four years of Republican control of the Federal Communications Commission, Democrats had high hopes for what they could accomplish early in the Biden administration. Near the top of the list was reestablishing net neutrality—rules that prohibit broadband providers from unfairly favoring certain kinds of traffic.

Any move to restore such rules, which were gutted during the Trump administration, would surely set off an intense power struggle with broadband providers and Republicans. In October, President Joe Biden nominated Gigi Sohn, a longtime communications activist who’s been an articulate advocate for net neutrality—and who’s also known to relish a good fight—to the commission. More than three months later, Sohn still hasn’t been confirmed, the FCC remains deadlocked with two Democratic commissioners and two Republicans, and any momentum from Biden’s inauguration has long since dissipated.