On Friday, President Barack Obama nominated Federal Communications Commission member Jonathan Adelstein to be the administrator for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) at the Department of Agriculture.
“[Adelstein] will, upon his confirmation, bring a depth of knowledge, experience and commitment to the job that will enable him to make a huge contribution to advancing the well-being of rural America,” said acting FCC Chairman Michael J. Copps, in a statement dated today. “He knows the issues and challenges inside-out and will be able to hit the ground running, which is exactly what's needed since RUS has been given such extraordinary responsibilities by the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Simply put, [Adelstein’s] years at the FCC have been dedicated to advancing the public interest across the wide gamut of telecommunications and media issues. He's been a true leader, an eloquent spokesman and a delight to work with. I look forward to continuing to work with him on the issues we both believe in and to continuing the friendship that we and our families share.”
American Cable Association (ACA) President and CEO Matthew Polka said: "A native of Rapid City, South Dakota, Adelstein knows from personal experience the communications needs of the rural American communities that ACA's independent cable companies have been serving for decades. ACA looks forward to working with Adelstein after he arrives at RUS on implementing the $2.5 billion RUS loan program intended to stimulate high-speed Internet access in unserved and underserved communities."
President Obama previously nominated Julius Genachowski as the new chairman of the FCC (story here). With Adelstein’s new role, the FCC currently has two vacant seats.