March 2, 2021

Volume XI, Number 61

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March 01, 2021

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Full Senate Confirms Simington Nomination

The U.S. Senate has confirmed, on a 49-46 vote, the nomination of Nathan Simington to be a Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Mr. Simington will take the place of Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who is expected to leave the FCC by the end of the year. Mr. Simington’s five-year term will begin retroactively on July 1, 2019, when Commissioner O’Rielly’s term expired; under the Communications Act, he was allowed to continue to serve through the end of the current Congress or until his successor was confirmed. Mr. Simington’s term will therefore extend until June 30, 2024.

Mr. Simington is currently an official with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

With the confirmation of Mr. Simington and the announced departure of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai effective January 20, 2021, the Commission will have two Democrats (Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starts) and two Republicans. (Commissioners Brendan Carr and Mr. Simington). Under the Communications Act, the Biden Administration will nominate a third Commissioner and designate the new Chairman of the FCC. The U.S. Senate will have to confirm whomever is nominated for this seat and confirm the new Chairman. President Biden could decide to nominate a current Democratic Commissioner to serve as the new Chair, which also would require confirmation.

The Senate’s action was greeted with congratulatory statements by Chairman Pai and Commissioners Rosenworcel, Carr and Starks.

In the meantime, the FCC has continued to complete requirements imposed under the TRACED Act, releasing a report to Congress on the status of the reassigned number database (https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-368620A1.pdf) and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to create “an online web portal where private entities may submit information about violations of sections 227(b) and 227(e) of the Communications Act.” (https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-20-174A1.pdf).

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© Copyright 2020 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 344
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About this Author

Paul Besozzi Telecommunications Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Washington DC
Senior Partner

Paul Besozzi concentrates his practice in the wireless, broadband and emerging technology areas. His extensive experience of more than 30 years in the telecommunications field includes regulatory, transactional, legislative and litigation matters for clients ranging from wireless service and infrastructure providers to resellers of long-distance service, including cellular, personal communications services, specialized mobile radio, point-to-point microwave, advanced wireless services and other emerging wireless technologies.

Paul represents clients before the federal and state...

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