Democratic FCC commissioner stepping down after policy clash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Democratic commissioner on the top U.S. telecommunications regulator said on Tuesday she is stepping down after more than eight years in the job and after clashing with Republican efforts to roll back many regulations.

Mignon Clyburn, who served as acting chair of the five-member Federal Communications Commission and has been on the commission since August 2009, said the public meeting held on Tuesday was her final one as a commissioner.

Clyburn, 56, has repeatedly opposed efforts by the Republican-led FCC under President Donald Trump to rescind or pare back landmark net neutrality rules, media ownership limits and other regulations. She did not immediately say when she would step down.

Last November, she charged that the FCC’s revisions to limits on owning multiple TV stations in a single market was “really about helping large media companies grow even bigger.”

She called the decision to reverse the Democratic Obama administration’s 2015 open internet rules an abdication of its responsibility to millions of internet users. “The agency that is supposed to protect you is abandoning you,” she said in December.

The repeal of those rules, which Republicans argue will spur investment, has not taken effect and is being challenged by a group of state attorneys general and public interest groups.

The commission has two Democrats, including Clyburn, and three Republicans. Under law, the president’s party has a majority on the panel.