FCC nominee Gigi Sohn’s fate — and ‘net neutrality’ — may hinge on Georgia runoff

Controversial Federal Communications Commission nominee Gigi Son, a key proponent of restoring the “net neutrality” rules that governed the Internet, may have her prospects hinged on the outcome of the Georgia Senate runoff, sources said. Money.

Sohn, a progressive activist who is skeptical of Republicans who has supported “pay off the police” efforts and founded an advocacy group funded by billionaire George Soros, would be more likely to get votes for his candidacy if Democrat Raphael Warnock. ‘more. Georgia has won Tuesday’s runoff for a seat in the US Senate, insiders say. Likewise, Son’s candidacy may never come to a vote if his challenger, Herschel Walker, wins the runoff.

Warnock’s victory would give Democrats a 51 to 49 majority in the Senate. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the only Democrat not yet supporting nominee Gigi Sohn, and the extra vote means Republicans can’t stop the nomination because it could end up being a tie, sources said.

Biden is expected to vote on the nomination this month. Otherwise, Biden would have to nominate Sohn again, and he would have to go through the full nomination process, which includes Senate hearings, the sources said.

Next year Biden, In October 2021, Sohn announced his intention to run, could more easily show another candidate. There are rumors that Stacey Abrams may be the loser in the race to become governor of Georgia.

The FCC currently has four commissioners — two Democrats and two Republicans — giving Democrats limited powers.

Sohn, a Georgetown law professor, helped craft the net neutrality rules produced during the Obama years, which were backed by some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech giants, including Amazon and Netflix.

Sohn is expected to help restore full net neutrality — which prevents ISPs, which are often owned by cable companies, from discriminating against rival streaming companies — after rolling back in the Trump years.

Comcast is reportedly a top contender for Sohn’s candidacy.

If Walker wins on Tuesday, President Biden may have an easier time getting past Sohn, making it a 50/50 Senate seat.
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According to the Post, Sohn was a director of the startup Locast, which provided free access to and received donations from broadcast stations including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Locast lost its suit and had to settle with the largest networks for no more than $32 million.

It is believed that when it became clear that Sohn was being nominated for FCC commissioner, the networks gave Locast a sweetheart deal on the settlement, and it settled for a final figure of less than $1 million.

Sohn was a director of Locast and was not part of the deal negotiations, The Post reported.

Dozens of groups including public knowledge and common cause Posted on October 14 by a letter He asked Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to vote on his nomination.

“His work with industry and members of Congress to develop programs that support low-income Americans, including those living on rural and tribal lands, exemplifies his commitment to working with all parties to find common sense solutions,” it said. in the letter.


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