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The FCC loses a sharp consumer advocate as Mignon Clyburn resigns



Enlarge / FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn addresses demonstrators outside the Federal Communication Commission building on December 14, 2017 in Washington, DC to protest the end of net neutrality

The Democrat Mignon Clyburn passes the Federal Communications Commission after nine years of service. Under the Democratic majority of the FCC from 2009 to 201

6, Clyburn repeatedly voted for consumer protection regulations against the objections of Internet service providers. More recently, Clyburn has been on the losing side of many votes as the FCC's new Republican majority deregulates the broadband and telecommunications industries.

Clyburn's term expired in June 2017, but the commission's rules allowed her to stay until the end of 2018 had opted for it. Instead of seeking a new five-year term, she announced that today's FCC meeting would be her last.

Being an FCC Commissioner was "the most incredible opportunity for me," Clyburn said at the meeting. "In my wildest dreams, I would never have dreamed if I could have made my fate."

Clyburn served six months as FCC transitional chairman in 2013 before giving Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler the precedence over Clyburn's "Conscience Commission."

"One of the Best of All Time"

"Mignon Clyburn will go down in history as one of the best FCC commissioners ever," former FCC official and consumer advocate Gigi Sohn said today. "For almost nine years, she has been a voice and passionate advocate of public interest and defender of the weakest in our society."

Clyburn advocated extensions to the Lifeline program that helps low-income Americans buy phone and broadband service, son noted. Clyburn was also a leader in cutting prison terms and media ownership issues and net neutrality, Sohn said.

"Mignon is a voice for the voiceless and always defends the weakest in our society to ensure that they are protected the particular interests," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) Today. "Your commitment to defending net neutrality, protecting the Lifeline program, lowering the rates of arrest and many other important consumer protection programs has helped millions of American families."

Clyburn previously worked for the South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) for eleven years, including two years as chairman. "Prior to serving in the PSC, Clyburn was the publisher and general manager of [TheCoastalTimes a Charleston-based weekly newspaper that focused on issues affecting the African American community," her biography says on the FCC website. "She was a co-owner and operator of the family-run newspaper for 14 years." Clyburn is the daughter of US Representative Jim Clyburn (DS.C.), who has been in Congress since 1993.

"During her tenure, we knew that someone in the FCC listened to poor people and people of color and music," We demand our communications rights, "said Jessica González, deputy director and senior counsel at the Free Press consumer group.

Clashes Clyburn fiercely embittered when Republican President Ajit Pai passed away the final votes to impose neutrality rules and other regulations they decided to implement during the Obama administration.In an interview with Ars last year, she has However, today all commissioners, including Pai, have praised Clyburn for their service.

Clyburn had a "prestigious job with the FCC" and was "a wonderful colleague and friend," Pai said

"She was a tremendous leader and committed B official throughout their time, "said Pai. "She was the first woman to lead the agency, skilfully transitioning and shaping the mission, including through her tireless leadership in telemedicine, media diversity and digital inclusion, and I enjoyed working with her and even If we have not seen politics at eye level, I have always shown their openness and consideration in the highest esteem. "

Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel called Clyburn a" dynamo "who worked to" put consumers first for those most at risk of being left behind – urban, rural, and everywhere in between. "

" I'm proud to have worked with her to support net neutrality, and gratefully, her partner in her unwavering commitment Work has been the serious injustice of exorbitant jail telephone charges, "said Rosenworcel.

Democrat will fill empty space

Rosenworcel will be the only Democrat after Clyburn's departure. There are three Republicans. President Trump and the Senate will be responsible for filling the Democratic seat to restore the 3-2 split.

The president nominates all commissioners. If the practice is followed, he would appoint a Democrat on the recommendation of the Democratic leadership of the Senate. The Senate would then vote to confirm the new Commissioner.

Minority Leader of the Senate Chuck Schumer has decided to recommend the nomination of FCC official Geoffrey Starks, a deputy head at the agency's enforcement office Politico reported last month

After the rule retains the Party of the President a majority of one vote at the FCC, so that the Republicans will retain the majority until the Democrats resume the White House.

Clyburn did not announce her plans to the commission.


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