19 April 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Mignon Clyburn, the strong advocate of net neutrality in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has left the regulator after nine years.
Her last FCC meeting was on
Tuesday, said chairman Ajit Pai, the Republican appointee who
ended net neutrality after a long campaign in February. Net
neutrality ends on 23 April, next week.
In a statement, Pai said: "She has been a tremendous leader and
a committed public servant throughout her time here. As the
first woman to head the agency [in an interregnum], she led
skillfully through a transition and put her stamp on the
Commission, including through her steadfast leadership in
telehealth, media diversity, and digital inclusion."
Clyburn was one of two Democrats on the five-member FCC. She
pushed Pai’s predecessor, Tom Wheeler, to enact
powerful net neutrality rules – which Pai
Clyburn’s Twitter feed still has a pinned
Tweet from 22 February 2018: "Today it is official: @FCC
majority has taken the next step in handing the keys to the
internet over to billion-dollar #broadband providers by
publishing the #NetNeutrality repeal order in the Federal
A former journalist and editor, she moved into public service
via the South Carolina Public Service Commission. Former
president Barack Obama appointed her to the FCC in 2009.
The other Democrat – and only other woman –
on the FCC, Jessica Rosenworcel, said: "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."
Another Republican, Michael O’Rielly, said: "I am
saddened to hear my friend and colleague, Commissioner Clyburn,
announce her intention to leave the Commission in the very near
future." Brendan Carr said: "Commissioner Clyburn has been a
strong and dynamic member of the Commission."
Federal Communications Commission,