President Biden’s effort to get a Democratic majority at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to be further derailed, this time by members of his party.
One Country Project – a Democratic political action committee led by former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, that lobbies federal lawmakers on rural issues – announced that it is launching a “six-figure ad campaign aimed at raising awareness that the Biden administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) nominee, Gigi Sohn, is the wrong choice for the FCC and rural America.”
The ads will run in Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, Maine and West Virginia “highlighting Sohn’s poor track record when it comes to prioritizing rural Americans.”
A press release announcing the campaign links to an op-ed written by Heitkamp referencing comments Sohn made as evidence of her “deeply cynical view of rural broadband efforts.”
Those comments include Sohn saying in House testimony that “policymakers have focused disproportionately on broadband deployment in rural areas of the United States.”
As well as an April 2021 interview with Bloomberg Government, where Sohn said, “What [have we gotten] for [the federal government’s existing] $50 billion investment? Not much.”
Further, said Heitkamp: “Sohn also criticized the FCC broadband policies and claimed they ‘made it really easy’ for rural broadband companies ‘to basically suck at the government teat to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.’”
“How can Democrats support rural broadband expansion and also support Gigi Sohn?” writes Heitkamp. “Sohn, the Biden Administration’s nominee for FCC Commissioner, has made numerous public statements that call into question whether she will work to bring broadband to all rural Americans expeditiously.”
Not all rural advocacy organizations think alike, however. NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, a trade group representing small broadband providers in the rural US, confirmed to Broadband World News that the group continues to support Sohn’s nomination and is disappointed with the decision of One Country Project to engage in this campaign.
Indeed, NTCA recently signed onto a letter to Senate leaders urging Sohn’s confirmation.
To read the complete article, visit Broadband World News.