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Jessica Rosenworcel

Jessica Rosenworcel (born July 12, 1971) is an American lawyer who currently serves as a member of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She originally served on the FCC from May 11, 2012, until January 3, 2017, and was confirmed by the United States Senate for an additional term on August 3, 2017.

Jessica Rosenworcel
Jessica Rosenworcel official photo.jpg
Member of the
Federal Communications Commission
Assumed office
August 11, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
In office
May 11, 2012 – January 3, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byMichael Copps[1]
Personal details
Born (1971-07-12) July 12, 1971 (age 47)
Political partyDemocratic Party
ResidenceWashington, D.C.
EducationWesleyan University (BA)
New York University School of Law (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website


Early life and educationEdit

A native of West Hartford, Connecticut, Rosenworcel received her B.A. degree from Wesleyan University and her J.D. from New York University School of Law.[2]

On July 13, 2012, Politico designated Rosenworcel as one of 50 politicos to watch, describing her as "whip-smart and intensely serious".[3]

Legal careerEdit

Prior to joining the FCC, Rosenworcel practiced communications law in the private sector.[4] In 1999, she joined the Wireline Competition Bureau of the FCC, and in 2003 started working for then-FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.[4] 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).[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

Federal Communications CommissionEdit

Rosenworcel in 2014

She was first nominated to the FCC by President Barack Obama in October 2011.[6] 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.[6] Rosenworcel 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.[5] According to law, commissioners may continue serving until the appointment of their replacements, but may not serve beyond the end of the next session of Congress following term expiration[8] (in Rosenworcel's case, until the end of the 2016 session on January 3, 2017). In May 2015, President Obama renominated Rosenworcel for a second term,[9] but she was not reconfirmed by the Senate by the time she was required to leave her seat in January 2017.[10] In June 2017, Rosenworcel was nominated to an additional term on the FCC by President Donald Trump. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 3, 2017.[11]

Policy viewsEdit

During her initial 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;[12] a proposal that would overturn state laws that protect Internet service providers from competition from municipal broadband providers;[13] a proposal to change the technical definition of "broadband Internet" from at least 4Mbps to at least 25Mbps;[14] a proposal to use the LifeLine phone service subsidy program to subsidize broadband access to poor people;[15] and a 2015 ruling that expanded consumer protections against Robodialers.[16]

Rosenworcel is vocal with her support relating to proposals to improve communications infrastructure and location accuracy for 911 calls from cellular telephones,[6] and supports the expansion of FirstNet, a dedicated broadband wireless network for emergency services workers.[6]

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."[12]

Rosenworcel has been a leading champion of updating national education technology policies in order to wire the country’s schools and libraries with broadband.[17] In addition, Rosenworcel is responsible for coining the term "homework gap", and has brought attention to the need of students to get online when they are outside of school.[18]

Personal lifeEdit

Rosenworcel lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children. She is the sister of Brian Rosenworcel, the drummer for the band Guster.[19]


  1. ^ Hart, Kim (31 October 2011). "Jessica Rosenworcel, Ajit Varadaraj Pai nominated for FCC posts". Politico. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Jessica Rosenworcel", Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  3. ^ "50 politicos to watch", Politico.
  4. ^ a b Liebelson, Dana (6 May 2015). "How Jessica Rosenworcel Is Shaping Our Digital Future". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b Meet the Commissioners", Future of Music, 6 June 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e Wilson, Daniel (10 Jul 2015). "Keeping FCC Commish Should Be 'Slam Dunk,' Colleagues Say". Law360. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  7. ^ Membership of the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services, Retrieved on 13 July 2015.
  8. ^ 47 USC 154(c)
  9. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". The White House Office of the Press Secretary. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Senate Fails to Confirm Rosenworcel for Another Term". National Public Safety Telecommunications Council. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  11. ^ Johnson, Ted (August 3, 2017). "Senate Confirms Jessica Rosenworcel, Brendan Carr to FCC". Variety. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  12. ^ a b Jon Brodkin (26 Feb 2015). "FCC votes for net neutrality, a ban on paid fast lanes, and Title II". Ars Technica. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  13. ^ Jon Brodkin (26 Feb 2015). "FCC overturns state laws that protect ISPs from local competition". Ars Technica. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  14. ^ Jon Brodkin (29 Jan 2015). "FCC chairman mocks industry claims that customers don't need faster Internet". Ars Technica. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  15. ^ Mark Wigfield (18 June 2015). "FCC Takes Steps to Modernize and Reform Lifeline for Broadband" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  16. ^ Eggerton, John (18 June 2015). "FCC Clarifies Robocall Rules". Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  17. ^ Contributor, Guest. "E-Rate 2.0: Commissioner Rosenworcel's Plan to Reboot National Education Politic365 - Politic365". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  18. ^ Rosenworcel, Jessica (15 June 2015). "Bridging the Homework Gap". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  19. ^ "FCC requires Comcast to place Bloomberg alongside other news channels", The Hill’s Hillicon Valley.

External linksEdit