Now there are five. More than six months after being nominated, Geoffrey Starks was approved to be a commissioner of the FCC by the U.S. Senate last night. Additionally. Commissioner Brendan Carr’s re-nomination won approval. Ironically, the two did not get to work long today as the FCC suspended most operations in the middle of the day.
Commissioner Starks was nominated was nominated to fill the Democratic seat on the Commission vacated by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn last spring. However, both Comm. Starks’ nomination and Comm. Carr’s re-confirmation were held up by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), who objected the FCC’s pausing of its Mobility Fund wireless subsidy auction while it probed allegedly inaccurate broadband coverage maps.
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) issued the following statement from President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein congratulated Carr and Starks on occasion.
“Commissioner Carr has already made his mark at the Commission as the point person on broadband infrastructure policy among other notable accomplishments. He has a deep appreciation of the role wireless infrastructure plays in 5G deployment and is committed to maintaining America’s leadership in wireless investment and innovation,” Adelstein said in a prepared statement.
Adelstein went on to praise Carr’s “collaborative approach,” which allows the industry to work closely with the Commissioner. He also said he looks forward to working with Starks.
“Throughout this process, Starks has demonstrated a deep understanding of wireless infrastructure issues. His experience and knowledge will be an asset as he begins his work at the FCC,” Adelstein said.
National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) Executive Director Todd Schlekeway applauded the action, “2019 is shaping up to be the year of 5G and NATE member companies will be in the spotlight deploying these next generation networks across the United States. With all of the critical issues related to 5G deployment, network resiliency, spectrum auctions, rural broadband, the accuracy of broadband coverage maps and public safety communications, it is critical that the FCC is back to its full complement of five Commissioners.
“NATE looks forward to collaborating in a bipartisan fashion with all five commissioners on the many policy and regulatory issues facing our dynamic industry,” he added.