For Immediate ReleaseThu, 09/07/2023
Deputy Director, Communications
Public Policy & Advocacy Office
American Library Association
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The American Library Association (ALA) applauds the Senate's confirmation of nominee Anna Gomez to be the fifth commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Gomez's confirmation is a victory in restoring the FCC's full complement of commissioners to advance its work promoting access, competition, innovation and investment in broadband services and facilities for all Americans.
ALA President Emily Drabinski said, "A longtime advocate for increasing broadband access, Anna Gomez has a clear understanding of the challenges Americans face in securing reliable, affordable connectivity. With her experience chairing the FCC Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, digital equity is sure to be a priority in the Commission's policymaking.
"Over her years of service, Gomez has recognized and encouraged the role libraries play towards expanding access in rural and underserved communities. ALA welcomes the confirmation of Gomez and also encourages the Senate to act quickly on the confirmations of Commissioners Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks in order to maintain a fully operational commission. We look forward to working with the full commission toward our shared goal of closing the digital divide."
ALA and other advocates welcomed Gomez's testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee on June 22, in which she stated: "I believe the FCC should work to meet the demands of the people it serves. That means connecting everyone everywhere to affordable, reliable broadband internet access. While Congress has given the FCC many important tools to close the digital divide, there is still much work to be done to ensure that every person in every county, regardless of geography or income, has access to high-speed broadband. I have experienced the fear of not being able to afford a telephone bill. I know what it means to risk the loss of connection. Ensuring that everyone in rural, tribal, suburban, and urban communities can get and stay connected is critical to next century success for us all."
The confirmation restores the FCC to five commissioners for the first time in two and a half years, building needed capacity and allowing the agency to advance the goals of the Commission more effectively.
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