President Barack Obama has nominated Mignon Clyburn to become a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. Clyburn had been on the short list of those rumored to be under consideration for a seat on the Commission (story here).
The FCC remains down three commissioners. Julius Genachowski has been nominated to become FCC chair (Michael Copps remains acting chair), but no nomination hearing has been set. Several media reports suggest the Republicans are holding up the nomination process until they can identify their nominee for the open Republican slot on the Commission. Given that, there’s no way to tell how quickly Clyburn could have her nomination considered.
Clyburn was nominated to fill the seat vacated by Jonathan Adelstein, who is taking on the job of managing the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) program within the Department of Agriculture. The RUS administers programs aimed at bringing communications services, including broadband, to rural communities (story here).
Since 1998, Clyburn has been a member of the Public Service Commission of South Carolina, which regulates the state’s investor-owned public utilities, including providers of telecommunications services. She chaired the Commission from 2002 to 2004. She is presently the chair of the Washington Action Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
Before her election to the Public Service Commission, she spent 14 years as the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times, a weekly newspaper in Charleston, S.C., according to the White House. She is the daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn.
The National Cable & Telecommunications (NCTA) offered its congrats. NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow said, “We congratulate Ms. Clyburn on her nomination and look forward to working with her on the important issues before the FCC. As a long-time member of the South Carolina Public Service Commission, Mignon Clyburn brings an insightful and pragmatic perspective to the complex policy issues that the FCC is tackling in today’s dynamic telecommunications environment. Ms. Clyburn’s extensive experience with intergovernmental groups such as NARUC will make her an invaluable asset to the Commission.”
"In Mignon Clyburn's home state of South Carolina, independent cable operators have been the leaders in delivering voice, video and broadband services to rural communities,” American Cable Association President Matthew Polka said.