FCC Taps Geoffrey Starks as New Commissioner After Clyburn Retirement

In April 2018 we reported that Democrat Mignon L. Clyburn announced that she will be stepping down from her position as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). The favored successor was FCC Enforcement Bureau Assistant Chief Geoffrey Starks, a Yale law graduate, who has been with the agency since 2015. The insider appeal was furthered by the fact that issues before the agency have recently been increasingly complex.

As predicted, Starks was confirmed by the Senate on January 2nd and sworn in as Commission on Wednesday as the second Democratic member of the five-person panel. Among Starks’ goals are to increase the affordability and accessibility of communications services.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr was also confirmed to a full, five-year term, as he is currently serving out the term of former chair Tom Wheeler.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai welcomed both to the commission, and said regarding Starks, “I congratulate Geoffrey on his Senate confirmation. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise, including having served most recently as assistant chief in the Enforcement Bureau. During his confirmation hearing, I was excited to hear him highlight the need to expand rural broadband and the power of telemedicine. I look forward to working with him and having a fellow Kansan on the Commission.”

With a full Commission in tow for 2019, we anticipate action on the TCPA front with Omnibus II. See our discussion of the issues we expect to be addressed here.

Dorsey & Whitney

Dorsey & Whitney

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