Mignon Clyburn Stepped Down from the Federal Communications Commission

article by Christina Williams
May 29, 2018
Net Neutrality supporter Mignon Clyburn is leaving her position at the Federal Communications Commision.

Clyburn, who served as one of the five commissions for the FCC, was a strong supporter of net neutrality. She served in her role for more than eight years. Many believe that Clyburn will be replaced by FCC official Geoffrey Starks. Clyburn’s departure was not a surprise, but many are concerned it will lead to less regulation concerning internet service providers.

Last year, FCC chairman Ajit Pai led the commission’s decision to repeal the Open Internet Order. The decision came after years after Clyburn led the Commission’s decisions as its first female chair in 2013. During her service, she worked to create strict net neutrality rules that prevented ISPs from abusing consumers.

Clyburn also worked on several other pro-consumer issues. She created policies for the unlocking of phone calls, internet access for low-income communities, and rate caps on phone calls for prison inmates. When Pai became chairman last year, Clyburn continued her fight for net neutrality.

“But we, meaning the FCC, are supposed to be here protecting the consumer’s experience and interests when it comes to communications and other services,” Clyburn told CNET. “We are supposed to be enablers of opportunities both for businesses and individuals. How do we best balance the scales when it comes to regulating consumer protections and promoting innovation and investment? We use legally sustainable rules of the road so there is a cop on the beat that can and will enforce them.”

Acting FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel spoke on Clyburn’s work for the FCC.

“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.

In short, Commissioner Clyburn is a dynamo. She represents the best of public service. I am proud to call her both a colleague and a friend.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also issued a statement noting Clyburn’s legacy despite their ability to agree on net neutrality.

“I congratulate Commissioner Clyburn on her distinguished tenure at the FCC. She has been a tremendous leader and a committed public servant throughout her time here. As the first woman to head the agency, she led skillfully through a transition and put her [own] stamp on the Commission, including through her steadfast leadership in telehealth, media diversity, and digital inclusion.”

 

Source: The Verge