After more than eight years on the job, the Federal Communications Commission is losing, Mignon Clyburn, one of its fiercest net neutrality proponents.
Appointed by former President Barack Obama, Clyburn is one of five commissioners on the board, which oversees and regulates policy relating to interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable providers. Clyburn, a Democrat, pushed for greater protections for consumers and in 2015, the FCC passed strict rules that protected net neutrality.
After the election of Donald Trump, he appointed Republican Ajit Pai to head the FCC, which led to the repeal of the net neutrality protections Clyburn fought hard to put in place.
Though her departure wasn’t a surprise, many are worried about the loss of such a staunch supporter of consumers’ rights. Acting FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who is the remaining Democrat on the commission, praised Clyburn’s advocacy.
“Commissioner Clyburn has been a forceful advocate for change, for equal opportunity, and for closing the digital divide. It was a privilege to support her history-making leadership as Acting Chairwoman. It has been an honor to work alongside her to put consumers first and bring connectivity to those at greatest risk of being left behind — urban, rural, and everywhere in between,” Rosenworcel wrote in a statement. “I am proud to have worked together with her to support net neutrality and grateful to have been her partner in her unwavering work to remedy the grave injustice of exorbitant prison phone rates. As she departs this agency, she should know her legacy is intact because so many who work on communications policy will continue to be guided by her outstanding example. I consider myself among them.”
Clyburn, who is the daughter of Congressman James Clyburn, said that while she enjoyed her time on the commission, it’s time to move on and serve in a different capacity.
“I’ve done all I know to do,” she said. “And it’s time for me to serve in another way.”