The FCC Five, Now With Its Newest Member


On Monday morning, the legacy of President Trump in Washington, D.C., was imprinted on the Federal Communications Commission.

Thanks to a spat over Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and the unwillingness of a Republican Commissioner who openly spoke out about his views as a strict Constitutionalist, the White House schemed to get a man who’d go along with the president’s quest to change the rule.

That individual on Monday was formally sworn in as the newest FCC Commissioner.

Nathan Simington has now been officially welcomed as one of five legislative leaders for the agency. The Commission notified all via a mid-morning Twitter post.

Simington takes the seat, previously held by Mike O’Rielly, after narrowly winning U.S. Senate approval — thanks to unanimous GOP support. Despite the controversy surrounding his nomination by the White House, the alternative would have been potentially worse for those seeking to further Republican “light touch” legislation — having the expectedly incoming Biden Administration get to select not one, but two, Commissioners.

Thus, for Roger Wicker & Co., it was a no-choice vote.

No matter how high Simington’s profile becomes in Washington, he can never be elected President.

Simington is from Saskatchewan, Canada, and became a U.S. citizen. That said, he is steeped in knowledge of many aspects of the telecommunications regulatory world. The University of Michigan law school graduate may have been a Senior Advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for just months, but in the role he worked on many aspects of telecommunications policy, including spectrum allocation and planning, broadband access, and the U.S. Government’s role in the Internet.

He’s also said to have authored the White House’s Section 230 plea, seeking it be discarded — thus holding social media platform owners accountable for what users post.

Prior to joining the Commission, Simington was a senior counsel to Brightstar Corp., the international mobile device services company. In this capacity, he led and negotiated telecommunications equipment and services transactions with leading providers in over twenty countries.

Prior to joining Brightstar, he worked as an attorney in private practice.

With Simington seated, he will be present at Ajit Pai’s swan song — the Jan. 13, 2021 Open Meeting for the Commission.

At this time, an agenda has not yet been released.