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ACA’s Polka Salutes FCC Nominations Of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai

In an announcement applauded by the American Cable Association, President Barack Obama on Oct. 31 nominated Jessica Rosenworcel, a Senate aide and Democrat, and Republican lawyer Ajit Pai to serve on the Federal Communications Commission.

"ACA is pleased President Obama will nominate Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to serve at the FCC. Both are talented individuals with a deep understanding of the digital economy and the vital role played by small and mid-sized cable operators in providing world-class communications services to hometown America," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said he hoped to move forward with confirmation hearings on the two FCC selections in less than two weeks. Both nominees will require confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

"The FCC requires leadership that understands and appreciates the needs of independent cable operators participating in a broadband-driven marketplace.  This marketplace is characterized by convergence, rapid technological change and, quite frankly, ongoing efforts by some market participants to use their economic power and incumbent regulatory preferences to limit choice and competition in both traditional and online distribution channels," Polka said.

The FCC, which normally has five voting members, is functioning with four Commissioners following the resignation in May of Republican Meredith Attwell Baker, who is employed by Comcast NBC Universal. FCC Democrat Michael Copps, whose term has expired, is expected to leave the agency after Congress adjourns for the year. Rosenworcel and Pai could be sworn in before the end of the year.

"ACA looks forward to working with the nominees in developing new approaches that modify outdated policies, such as the flawed retransmission consent regime, and that expand consumers' ability to access content and telecommunications services under the best terms and conditions possible," Polka said.

Pai is a partner in the litigation department of Jenner & Block. Previously, he was deputy general counsel at the FCC and chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights. Rosenworcel is senior communications counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee. She worked at the FCC as a Copps aide from 2003 to 2007.

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