Rosenworcel in 2014
|Member, Federal Communications Commission|
May 11, 2012
|Preceded by||Michael Copps|
|Born||July 12, 1971|
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||BA Wesleyan University
J.D. New York University School of Law
Jessica Rosenworcel (born July 12, 1971) is a member of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent agency of the United States government. She was nominated by President Barack Obama in October 2011. Her confirmation was delayed for months when Republican Senator Chuck Grassley refused to bring it up for a vote until the FCC released documents about a project he opposed. She was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 7, 2012, and was formally sworn into office on May 11, 2012, for a term ending June 30, 2015. In May 2015, President Obama renominated Rosenworcel for a second term, but as of July 2015 she has not yet been reconfirmed by the Senate.
Prior to joining the FCC, she practiced communications law in the private sector. In 1999, she joined the Wireline Competition Bureau of the FCC, and in 2003 started working for then-FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. Starting in 2007, she served as Senior Communications Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D–WV). She previously served in the same role on the Committee under the leadership of Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D–HI). In 2013, Rockefeller led a push to have Rosenworcel named to be the first female chair of the commission when former Chairman Julius Genachowski stepped down, although the position was ultimately given to Tom Wheeler.
Rosenworcel is the Chair of the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services - a forum for ongoing dialogue among the FCC, state regulators, and local and regional entities about the deployment of advanced telecommunications capabilities.
During her term as FCC Commissioner, Rosenworcel voted for a proposal that would reclassify Internet service providers as Title II Common Carriers and impose net neutrality rules, a proposal that would overturn state laws that prevent Internet service providers from competition from municipal broadband providers, a proposal to change the technical definition of "broadband Internet" from at least 4Mbps to at least 25Mbps, a proposal to use the LifeLine phone service subsidy program to subsidize broadband access to poor people,  and a 2015 ruling that expanded consumer protections against Robodialers.
Rosenworcel is vocal with her support relating to proposals to improve communications infrastructure and location accuracy for 911 calls from cellular telephones, and supports the expansion of FirstNet, a dedicated broadband wireless network for emergency services workers.
Regarding net neutrality, Rosenworcel said, "We cannot have a two-tiered Internet with fast lanes that speed the traffic of the privileged and leave the rest of us lagging behind. We cannot have gatekeepers who tell us what we can and cannot do and where we can and cannot go online, and we do not need blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization schemes that undermine the Internet as we know it."
Rosenworcel has been a leading champion of updating national education technology policies in order to wire the country’s schools and libraries with broadband. In addition, Rosenworcel is responsible for coining the term the Homework gap and has brought attention to the need of students to get online when they are outside of school.
A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Rosenworcel received her bachelor of arts degree from Wesleyan University and her J.D. from New York University School of Law. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children. She is the sister of Brian Rosenworcel, the drummer for the band Guster.
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