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Trump to nominate FCC commissioner who backs net neutrality

Former FCC member Jessica Rosenworcel will reportedly fill a vacant position in President Donald Trump's Federal Communications Commission.

Jessica Rosenworcel reacts at an FCC hearing in 2015.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's nominee for the Federal Communications Commission is a fan of net neutrality. 

Trump said late Tuesday that he was nominating Jessica Rosenworcel to fill one of the Democratic commissioner slots on the five-member commission. 

Rosenworcel is an advocate for net neutrality and a familiar face at the FCC. She originally served as a commissioner under President Barack Obama from 2012 until January, when Trump didn't extend her term.

If she gets the nod, Rosenworcel would return to the FCC at a time when its Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to roll back net neutrality rules.

Net neutrality is the idea that internet traffic is treated equally and internet service providers can't prioritize some traffic over others, and the FCC under Obama passed rules governing that principle. Pai, other Republicans and the internet service providers fear those rules are overly strict and stifle innovation, although consumer advocates and Democrats believe they're necessary to ensure fair treatment online. 

Rosenworcel would join Mignon Clyburn as the second Democrat on the FCC, although reports suggest Rosenworcel could replace Clyburn because her term runs out this month. There's also still one more Republican vacancy in the commission that Trump has yet to fill.