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should have access
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The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Friday, November 04

Blocking Nominations

By Brad

Earlier this week, President Obama nominated Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai as commissioners at the FCC. At the time, it was expected both nominees would sail through the confirmation process. But as Cecilia Kang at the Washington Post reports, an unexpected roadblock has appeared:

On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) submitted in a Congressional statement directed to President Obama that he would object to the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai as commissioners at the FCC.

The reason for Sen. Grassley’s objection is his ongoing investigation into a special waiver the FCC gave to satellite broadband upstart LightSquared, which has encountered problems with building out a planned nationwide LTE network due to interference concerns. As Kang reports:

...Grassley said he would stand in the way because of the FCC chairman’s denial of requests for documents in his six-month-long investigation of the regulatory process of LightSquared’s satellite venture.

Staff for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski say they have cooperated with Grassley, but that his committee doesn’t have oversight over the agency and can’t make document requests.

Evidently Sen. Grassley doesn’t believe the commission fully cooperated, hence his objection to the two nominees. Stay tuned…