Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel: click for press photo

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel believes that the future belongs to the connected. She works to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success. She believes strong communications markets can foster economic growth and security, enhance digital age opportunity, and enrich our civic life.

From fighting to protect net neutrality to ensuring access to the internet for students caught in the Homework Gap, Jessica has been a consistent champion for connecting all. She is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the internet of things. She also is responsible for developing policies to help expand the reach of broadband to schools, libraries, hospitals, and households across the country.

Named as one of POLITICO's 50 Politicos to Watch and profiled by InStyle Magazine in a series celebrating "women who show up, speak up and get things done," Jessica brings over two decades of communications policy experience and public service to the FCC. Prior to joining the agency, she served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and Senator Daniel Inouye. Before entering public service, Jessica practiced communications law in Washington, DC.

She is a native of Hartford, Connecticut. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University School of Law. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two children.

 

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Narda Jones

Chief of Staff

Narda serves as FCC Chief of Staff having joined the Chairwoman’s leadership team from the White House where she was the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to that, she was the Senior Technology Policy Advisor for the Democratic staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation and Science. Narda started working in the U.S. Senate for Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington in 2014, after spending over a decade in senior roles in the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline and International Bureaus. She also previously worked at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office. In addition, she was part of the inaugural class of the AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship program and spent her fellowship time aiding homeless families secure housing and public benefits in St. Paul, Minnesota. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jones is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Brooklyn Law School.

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Deena Shetler

Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration

Deena serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration. She previously served as Deputy Chief of the Office of Economics and Analytics, Deputy Managing Director, several leadership roles in the Wireline Competition Bureau, and as a Legal Advisor to Commissioner Gloria Tristani. Deena served on details to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) from 2010 to 2011 and to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division from 2016-2017. Deena joined the Commission in 1996 as an attorney in the Common Carrier Bureau. Prior to joining the FCC, she was an associate at Howrey and Simon in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Deena received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from University of California Los Angeles School of Law, and her B.A. from University of California San Diego.

Umair Javed

Umair Javed

Chief Counsel

Umair serves as Chairwoman Rosenworcel's Chief Counsel. From October 2017 through January 2021, he served as then-Commissioner Rosenworcel's legal advisor for wireless and international issues. Umair joined the FCC from Wiley Rein LLP, where he was an attorney in the firm's Telecom, Media, and Technology practice group. Umair also has served on U.S. delegations to treaty-writing conferences and meetings of the International Telecommunication Union and as Commissioner of the Consumer Protection Commission of Fairfax County. He graduated from the University of Virginia and received his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Priscilla Delgado Argeris

Priscilla Delgado Argeris

Chief Legal Advisor

Priscilla serves as Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Chief Legal Advisor. She joined the Chairwoman’s office from Meta Platforms, Inc. where she has focused on spectrum policy issues for the company across the globe. From 2012-2015, she previously served as then-Commissioner Rosenworcel’s Legal Advisor and Senior Legal Advisor covering wireline and wireless issues for the office during her tenure. Prior to joining the FCC, Priscilla worked at the law firm Wiley Rein, where she focused regulatory and litigation matters involving federal and state communications law. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from New York University School of Law.

D’wana Terry

D’wana Terry

Special Advisor to the Chairwoman and Acting Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity

D’wana advises the Chairwoman on work the agency can do to identify and redress inequities in its policies and programs while also continuing to serve as the Acting Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity. The Office of Workplace Diversity ensures that the provides employment opportunities for all persons regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, or sexual preference. D’wana has served in numerous senior positions at the FCC since joining the agency from private practice in 1994. Most recently, she was associate bureau chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau. She has also served as an associate bureau chief and chief of staff in both the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau and as acting deputy bureau chief of CGB. In addition, she previously served as chief of the Wireless Bureau’s Public Safety & Critical Infrastructure Division. She graduated from Lafayette College and received her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Sanford Williams

Sanford Williams

Special Advisor to the Chairwoman

Sanford advises the Chairwoman on work the agency can do to identify and expand opportunities for communities that have been historically underserved. Sanford has worked in various roles at the FCC since 1999. He also worked as an attorney for Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice and taught at Augusta State University in Georgia. Mr. Williams graduated from Cornell University where he earned an undergraduate degree in operations research and industrial engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Johnson School of Management. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review.

Holly Saurer

Holly Saurer

Chief of the Media Bureau, Legal Advisor to the Chairwoman

Holly joins the office from the Media Bureau, where she has held several positions, including Deputy Bureau Chief, Associate Bureau Chief, Senior Legal Advisor and Attorney-Advisor with the Media Bureau’s Policy Division. Holly has previously served as an Acting Media Advisor for Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn, and an International and Consumer Affairs Legal Advisor for Chairman Wheeler. Prior to joining the Commission, Holly worked at the Washington, DC offices of Drinker Biddle & Reath and Miller & Van Eaton. Holly received her JD from American University and graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication.

Ethan Lucarelli

Ethan Lucarelli

Legal Advisor, Wireless and International

Ethan joins the office from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, where he served as legal and policy advisor to the Bureau Chief. Previously, Ethan was Director of Regulatory & Public Policy at Inmarsat, a global satellite communications company, and an attorney in the Telecommunications, Media, and Technology group at law firm Wiley Rein LLP. Ethan also is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School, teaching courses in Telecommunications Law and Scholarly Writing. Ethan earned his JD with highest honors from George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Illinois.

Ramesh Nagarajan

Ramesh Nagarajan

Legal Advisor, Wireline and Enforcement

Ramesh joins the office from the Wireline Competition Bureau, where he was most recently Deputy Division Chief of the Competition Policy Division. He also served as a law clerk to United States District Judge James D. Whittemore in the Middle District of Florida. Ramesh began his legal career practicing antitrust and competition law at O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Before attending law school, he served as a Legislative Assistant to Representative Lois Capps. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Carmen Scurato

Carmen Scurato

Legal Advisor, Consumer and Public Safety

Carmen Scurato joins the Chairwoman’s office from Free Press where she served as Associate Legal Director and Senior Counsel covering telecommunications, privacy, and technology issues. Previously, she was the Vice President of Policy and General Counsel for the National Hispanic Media Coalition, where she led a policy team focused on advancing the communication needs of the Latinx community. She has served on the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee, the American Library Association’s Public Policy Council, and participated in the Aspen Institute Conference on Communications Policy. Earlier in her career, Mrs. Scurato worked with the Department of Justice in both the Civil Frauds section, specializing in False Claims Act investigations, and in the Office of Legislative Affairs. A native of Puerto Rico, Mrs. Scurato received her undergraduate degree from New York University and her law degree from Villanova University.

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David Strickland

Legal Advisor, Media

David joins the office from the Enforcement Bureau, where he most recently served as Assistant Bureau Chief, managing consumer protection, privacy, and media enforcement matters. David also served as Assistant Division Chief in the International Bureau, where he worked on a variety of satellite, telecommunications policy, and spectrum-related issues. Before joining the FCC, he was an attorney in private practice, specializing in litigation and antitrust issues. David is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School.

Andi Roane-Wiley

Andi Roane

Confidential Assistant

Andi joins the office after serving in the offices of former Chairman Pai, former Chairman Wheeler, and Commissioner Simington. In prior FCC service, Andi served as the special assistant to the chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Previously, she worked as an executive assistant for more than two decades in the private sector.

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Aurelle Porter

Executive Assistant

Aurelle has worked in then-Commissioner Rosenworcel’s office since 2018 and has been at the Federal Communications Commission since 2006. During her time at the agency, she has served as Special Assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs and as a Staff Assistant to former FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin.

Ovonda Walker

Ovonda Walker

Executive Assistant

Ovonda has over 16 years of federal government service. Most recently, she was a Staff Assistant in Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau as well as, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s office at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Prior to joining the O’Rielly office, Ovonda’s federal service includes: Executive Secretary to the Deputy Inspector General for Policy and Oversight at the Department of Defense; Secretary in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice; Clerk Typist/Secretary at NASA Headquarters; and Clerk Typist at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services. She has also worked as a federal government contractor at the FCC in the Office of Chairman Tom Wheeler; at the Federal Aviation Administration; and at the Department of Defense/Defense Information Systems Network.

October 4, 2021

October Open Meeting Agenda

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

Like every month, the FCC will be holding an open meeting this October. But this October 26 will be a little bit different. In addition to our typical agenda focused on a variety of rulemakings, our October open meeting will feature a virtual field hearing on Hurricane Ida and improving the resilience of our communications networks.

Last week Commissioner Carr and I visited Louisiana and saw firsthand the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ida. We crisscrossed a long, flat stretch of Louisiana—from Baton Rouge to New Orleans—to hear from state and local officials and private companies involved in restoration efforts. This field hearing will give the rest of the Commission an opportunity to hear testimony about what worked and what didn’t with communications during this historic storm and other recent disasters. More importantly, the information gleaned from this hearing will serve as a foundation for recommendations and actions to make our networks more resilient before the next unthinkable event occurs.

We’ll be hearing from a variety of viewpoints on this issue. As with all of our open meetings, the hearing will be open to the public. More information on that and other details coming soon.

While the field hearing will be the centerpiece of our October meeting, that’s not all that we have planned. Here are the other items we will consider.

  • We will start out our October meeting with a national security item, which I cannot discuss publicly just yet. Since January we’ve maintained a proactive and meaningful response to security threats to our communications networks, and this item will continue that effort.
  • We’re updating our media rules. With the conclusion of the broadcast incentive auction and digital television transition, it’s time to update our television rules to reflect these changes. This includes updating the Table of Allotments, which lists where digital television channels are allocated throughout the country. We will also delete or revise rules rendered obsolete by the auction and the digital television transition, in order to ensure our rules are clear and reflect the current regulatory environment.
  • We’ll fund more awards for telehealth. We will consider another round of awards for the Connected Care Pilot Program, helping a range of nonprofit and public health care providers connect with their patients. This third round of funding will support internet access for patients and providers, focusing on maternal health and high-risk pregnancy, public health epidemics, opioid dependency, mental health, and chronic conditions.

—Jessica

September 8, 2021

September Open Meeting Agenda

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

With wildfires still raging in the American West and Hurricane Ida’s historic devastation from New Orleans to New York, the need for resilient communications infrastructure has never been more apparent. The Commission’s September open meeting will be headlined by a pair of items to make sure vital communications are available when people need them most. Here are the items we will consider on September 30:

  • We’re promoting more resilient networks. Today, the rain has stopped, the winds have subsided, and the storm surge has receded. But Mother Nature’s wrath is sure to visit us again. So are 911 failures and power outages and other threats to network infrastructure. That is why we are fundamentally refreshing our playbook for disaster preparedness and resiliency. We’re starting that effort today by revisiting the Wireless Resiliency Cooperative Framework, our network outage reporting rules, and strategies to address one of the primary reasons for service disruptions: electric power outages.
  • We’re repurposing airwaves for public safety and 5G. As we upgrade our networks to 5G, we need to bring America’s first responders along, too. So we are revisiting our most recent effort at remaking the 4.9 GHz band and charting a new course. To avoid a state-by-state approach to spectrum policy, we are seeking comment on how to advance the Commission’s original goal to ensure public safety enjoys maximum access to emerging broadband technologies while also increasing overall use of the band through a single, nationwide framework that creates opportunities for 5G.
  • We’re meeting consumer demand for faster, better Wi-Fi. You might have noticed that manufacturers are starting to slip in something new in their spec sheets: Supports Wi-Fi 6. This is the first major update to Wi-Fi in a long time. It means gigabit-plus speeds, more simultaneous connections, and better security. The key to enabling more of these devices is an automated frequency coordination system that will better manage the airwaves in and around your house to deliver the best performance possible without interfering with other spectrum users. We will vote to initiate the process for certifying these systems and speed the deployment of next-generation Wi-Fi.
  • We’re supporting the Internet of Things. The best way to lead in the future of wireless is to prepare for it. That’s true for the future of connected things too—also known as the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things will connect billions of devices and promises to enable innovations ranging from telemedicine to smart transportation networks to precision agriculture. As directed by Congress, we are preparing for this future in the here and now by starting a Notice of Inquiry to better understand the current and future spectrum needs of IoT connectivity.
  • We’re cracking down on the hardest-to-stop robocallers. Eliminating illegal robocalls that originate abroad is one of the most vexing challenges for the Commission. We will consider a proposal to require gateway providers that are the point of entry for foreign calls to use new caller ID authentication tools and perform robocall mitigation.
  • We’re shielding 911 call centers from robocalls. Unwanted robocalls that disrupt dinner are annoying. Unwanted robocalls that tie up public safety phone lines and disrupt emergency services are unacceptable. We will consider a proposal to bolster the Do-Not-Call registry for telephone numbers used by 911 call centers.
  • We’re connecting Tribal libraries. Libraries are a vital source of internet access, but some Tribal libraries have been shut off from E-Rate support because they didn’t meet the technical definition of a library in the Commission’s rules. We will vote on a proposal to fix this problem and to explore other measures to ensure Tribal entities can access the E-Rate program.
  • We’re strengthening the security review of companies with foreign ownership. The Commission will vote to adopt a baseline set of national security and law enforcement questions for certain applicants with reportable foreign ownership. These actions will facilitate foreign investment and the provision of new services and infrastructure in the United States while protecting consumers and promoting national security.

—Jessica

August 6, 2021

New Mobile Map: A Preview of What’s to Come

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

We all know the frustration of a dropped call, a video that won’t download, or an app that won’t refresh when you are trying to get the latest score or news. That frustration can be heightened when you are using your smartphone in an area where you are supposed to have mobile service. The more we rely on our smartphones, the more consumers need a clear sense of where mobile broadband service is available in their communities.

Today, the FCC is providing the public what they need with new, first-of-its-kind information on mobile wireless service coverage.

We are rolling out a new mapping tool that will empower consumers with better data on mobile broadband coverage in America. This is the first major update in a series of improvements to the agency’s publicly available resources to track where broadband coverage is and is not across the country.

Why does this map matter? This new map is a building block towards better broadband maps in the future. It serves as a public test of the standardized criteria developed to facilitate improved mapping under the Broadband DATA Act. Using standardized metrics and consumer-friendly technology and data visualization techniques, we’re able to take in data from multiple sources and create a map that is not only useful, but user-oriented. Consumers are able to input their address or another location and see with pin-point accuracy what coverage is available at that location.

The mapping tool shows where 4G LTE mobile broadband and voice services are available for each of the nation’s four largest wireless carriers: AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. Combined, these four service providers represent the vast majority of market share for mobile wireless connections in the U.S. There are a few things notable about this tool.

These four service providers voluntarily submitted standardized data to the FCC, prepared using a common set of parameters. Now, you can easily view standardized 4G LTE network coverage data for each of these service providers in one place.

Another notable feature of this mapping tool is that you can see coverage areas for both voice and broadband 4G LTE services. The broadband coverage areas are drawn based on a minimum download and upload speed metric of five megabits per second (5 Mbps) and one megabit per second (1 Mbps), respectively. But voice calls over an LTE network typically do not require this amount of network speed. Because of this, the carriers have provided separate coverage area maps where subscribers should be expected to make and receive voice calls over the LTE network. Providing distinct maps for voice and broadband LTE service will give consumers a more accurate picture of service availability whether they are getting online or calling a friend.

How did we get here? In February, I announced the establishment of the new Broadband Data Task Force, a group of experts at the FCC dedicated to implementing long-overdue improvements to the agency’s broadband data and mapping tools.

These efforts focused largely on the need for better maps to help policymakers make more informed decisions about targeting investments to close the digital divide. I couldn’t support that effort more. But beyond helping policymakers, I chartered the Broadband Data Task Force to take a more holistic approach on ways the Commission can use data to empower consumers and how consumers can provide data to the Commission to arrive at a better understanding of broadband availability.

So what’s next? For starters, the mapping tool we release today is the first in a series of efforts to provide consumers with a better understanding of network coverage for the predominant mobile wireless technology used by most Americans. Looking long term, this map is an important step toward the FCC’s collection of robust, standardized coverage data for all mobile broadband technologies and from all service providers, and refinement of that data by leveraging consumers’ and other stakeholders’ on-the-ground experiences. While the Commission is building more accurate maps showing where fixed and mobile broadband services are and are not available using industry data, we will also establish systems and processes to validate and supplement provider-submitted data. One such effort will be a process through which consumers, state, local, and Tribal governmental entities, and other stakeholders may submit data to challenge the accuracy of the FCC’s coverage maps.

This is an exciting and important step on the path towards the comprehensive broadband availability maps Congress entrusted to the FCC. While this mapping tool is a preview of things to come, it also demonstrates the future of the consumer-facing and user-friendly tools that will help everyone—consumers, state and federal policymakers, and other stakeholders—understand where broadband is available.

July 14, 2021

August Open Meeting Agenda

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

Today and tomorrow, the Commission is hosting a showcase of new technologies that will enable greater innovation in equipment for our 5G networks. This open and interoperable technology will mean lower costs and, perhaps most significantly, increased security for 5G. The Commission’s August open meeting will feature an item to jump-start innovation in this technology, in addition to several other items to tackle challenges like unwanted robocalls. Here’s what we’ve got lined up.

  • We are enabling cutting-edge research and development to extend our 5G leadership. Research and development are the cornerstone of the innovation process. The Commission will vote on a proposal to designate two new innovation zones that would enable greater experimentation with advanced wireless technologies—one in Boston and the other in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition, our proposal would expand the geographic area of an existing innovation zone in New York City. By creating opportunities to integrate open radio access network technologies, our action will help spur the development of more secure 5G alternatives, too. Think of these Innovation Zones as seeds that will grow technologies we can harvest for our 5G future.
  • We are making life harder for malicious robocallers. Widely available VoIP software can allow bad actors to make spoofed robocalls with minimal technical experience and cost. The FCC will consider a proposal to modernize our rules regarding direct access to numbers by providers of VoIP services. The changes would safeguard our finite numbering resources while seeking to curb robocalls and reduce the opportunity for regulatory arbitrage.
  • We are strengthening our regime for authenticating calls and blocking unwanted ones. Caller ID technology known as STIR/SHAKEN promises to authenticate phone numbers and make it easier to block fraudulent calls before they ever reach your phone—helping combat the consumer plague of unwanted robocalls. FCC rules require voice service providers to implement and participate in the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication framework. To ensure due process and promote trust in this system, the Commission will vote to establish a process for voice providers to appeal decisions by the private group that oversees STIR/SHAKEN if providers are rendered noncompliant with our rules to combat robocalls.
  • We are making sure communications tools are there for individuals with hearing or speech disabilities. Internet Protocol (IP) Relay allows an individual with a hearing or speech disability to communicate with voice telephone users by transmitting text via the Internet. The Commission will consider a proposal to change the compensation methodology for IP Relay providers, which would help ensure that financial support is sufficient to sustain a functionally equivalent telephone service for eligible consumers.
  • We are updating our political programming and recordkeeping rules. The FCC has political programming and recordkeeping rules for broadcast licensees, cable operators, and satellite providers, but we have not formally reviewed these rules since 1991. We will consider two updates to these rules that are designed to comply with statutory requirements and account for modern campaign practices.
  • We are making it easier to use low-power radio services. The Commission will vote on an order to resolve three long-pending petitions regarding our personal radio services rules. Specifically, we would permit FM as an optional modulation scheme in the CB Radio Service; allow automatic or periodic location and data transmissions on General Mobile Service and Family Radio Service frequencies; and correct inadvertent modifications to our rules for medical device communications.

—Jessica

June 29, 2021

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is Live!

Jessica Rosenworcel | Acting Chairwoman

Today, we are starting the most significant single campaign ever to tackle the Homework Gap and make sure American students have access to the broadband and devices they need for school—the Emergency Connectivity Fund. Effective immediately, schools and libraries can apply for support to purchase laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections to facilitate off-campus remote learning.

As we open the window for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, there are three numbers that every eligible school and library needs to know.

The first number is 16.9 million. That’s how many students do not have the high-speed internet access at home they need to fully participate in online learning. This problem, that I’ve labeled the Homework Gap, has been exacerbated during the pandemic and locked too many children out of the virtual classroom. We’ve seen the effects of Homework Gap during this crisis. Parking lots are full of cars with students using a free WiFi signal to get into class. Parents struggling to find safe spaces for their children to get online. These families have grit, but it shouldn’t be this hard. But help is here.

The second number is $7.17 billion. That is how many dollars are available from the Emergency Connectivity Fund from Congress. That means it’s time to think big and submit proposals that will dramatically narrow the Homework Gap in every community.

The third number is 45. That is how many days schools and libraries have to file an application for support. That is not a lot of time. It is imperative that stakeholders approach this unprecedented opportunity with a sense of urgency. Here are some things you should be doing already to get started.

I would encourage everyone reading this to spread the word where you can about the Emergency Connectivity Fund. You can learn more about the program and what tools we’ve made available to help make outreach a little easier from our Emergency Connectivity Fund website. It’s going to take a huge push over the next several weeks. With your help, I know that we can maximize the impact of this historic investment. Our kids and neighbors across the country are counting it.

—Jessica

Broadband: With Jessica Rosenworcel

Broadband Conversations

Dedicated to amplifying the voices of women who are making a difference in our digital lives.

Broadband Conversations is dedicated to highlighting women who are making an impact on our digital lives. Each episode, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will talk to women who are breaking new ground and forging new paths in technology, media, and innovation about what they're working on, what's on their minds, what they think is the next for the future. Because there are just too few, it's time to amplify these women's voices.

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