Congratulations began to pour in from industry, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Hill only moments after the Senate quickly, unanimously and without fanfare approved Monday the nominations of Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel to fill the two vacant commissioner seats at the agency.
"I want to congratulate Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel on their Senate confirmation and welcome them to the Commission," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. "They bring deep knowledge of our sector, and proven track records of accomplishment. President Obama made an outstanding choice in their nominations, and I look forward to working with them." The additions do not change the makeup of the commission, but boost the chairman's Democratic majority from 2-1 to 3-2, and prevents the theoretical possibility of one commissioner holding up a vote by not showing up and thus preventing a quorum (at least three members).
"We offer our sincere congratulations to Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel on the occasion of their confirmation by the full Senate," said a veteran of the process, National Cable & Telecommunications Association President and former FCC chairman Michael Powell. "We know that they will each prove to be valuable additions to the Commission, and we look forward to working with them to promote continued investment and innovation in the communications marketplace."
"I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai on their confirmations as commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission by the United States Senate," said FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell. "Their experience and credentials will be an asset to the Commission.
"Now that we have a full five member FCC, I look forward to all of us rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on several important matters facing the Commission for the benefit of American consumers, including but certainly not limited to: implementation of the new incentive auction legislation, finally putting the power of unlicenced use of the TV "White Spaces" into consumers' hands, adopting sensible universal service contribution reform, modernizing our media ownership rules to reflect the competitive marketplace of the Digital Age, important transactions requiring expeditious review, and much, much more."
"I am elated that the Senate has confirmed two qualified and intelligent FCC Commissioners and that the FCC will resume full operations," said Chairman Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), to whom Rosenworcel has been a top adviser. "Jessica Rosenworcel has spent nearly fifteen years working on communications issues, and I believe there is no better-qualified person for this position. Her understanding of complex communications policy is unparalleled and will be a major asset to the Commission. She will bring her meticulous and professional mindset that we have enjoyed here at the Commerce Committee to the FCC as an effective and sharp Commissioner. I am going to miss her terribly on the Commerce Committee."
"Ajit Pai has experience in both the private and public sectors and brings a deep understanding of the communications challenges in rural America to his new role as FCC Commissioner..."I look forward to working with Jessica and Ajit as FCC Commissioners on closing the digital divide that exists in our country and bringing much-needed, expanded access to all Americans, including rural Americans who currently are underserved."
"We're pleased that the long delay in the Senate is over, and that we will have five commissioners at the FCC once more," said Free Press President Craig Aaron. "Both Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel are extremely knowledgeable policy experts and well qualified for their new positions. We congratulate the new commissioners on their confirmations, and we look forward to working with both of them in the very near future.
"We hope the FCC's newest members will focus first and foremost on promoting the public interest. The decisions the FCC makes in the next few years will determine the shape of our media system for a generation. Thanks to undue industry influence at places like the FCC, many people have lost faith in public institutions. The public needs champions at the FCC. We hope the newest commissioners will use both the bully pulpit and their votes to ensure that media and technology benefit the vast majority of Americans and not just a few powerful moguls."
"On behalf of CTIA and the wireless industry, I congratulate the newest FCC Commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai," said CTIA-The Wireless Association President Steve Largent. "Their knowledge of communications issues and their experience in Washington will make them great assets for the Commission. I look forward to working with them on key wireless issues, including the bipartisan and bicameral spectrum issues, to ensure the U.S. wireless ecosystem retains its global leadership position."
Pai's resume includes former associate general counsel at Verizon.
"We applaud the Senate on the approvals of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to serve as FCC Commissioners," said Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro. "Ms. Rosenworcel and Mr. Pai each have a deep understanding of technology policy and will be excellent FCC commissioners. We look forward to working with both of these distinguished individuals to restore our nation's economy by advancing sound communications policies that promote technological innovation."
"I am pleased that the Senate has confrimed Jessica Rosenworcel and Agit Pai as Members of the Federal Communications Commission," he said in a statement. "These are two especially well-qualified individuals. I know Jessica better because of her years as my Senior Legal Advisor. She brings a breadth and depth of telecom knowledge that is remarkable and, perhaps, unparalleled. Enormously difficult challenges confront the Commission. Bringing broadband to all of our citizens is key to America's success in the Twenty-first century.
It's about jobs, education, health, and creating opportunity for all of us. It's time for America to close the Broadband Gap. Simultaneously we must make sure that our media--both traditional media and the new Internet media--actually nourishe our civic dialogue so that we as citizens can more fully understand the challenges we face and can make intelligent decisions for the future. The FCC needs to be proactive on both these fronts, and I'll be looking to the new Commissioners to make it happen."