Obama nominates 2 to fill Copps, Attwell-Baker commissioner posts at FCC

As the FCC transitions to an agency that's tasked with regulating a broadband-drive telecom network, President Barack Obama has nominated two telecom policy experts--Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Varadaraj Pai--as FCC commissioners.

Rosenworcel and Pai both come with plenty of experience in dealing with telecom regulatory issues, serving at the FCC and working on other legislative-based communications initiatives with various lawmakers.

Since 2009, Rosenworcel has worked for the Senate Commerce Committee chairman, Sen. John "Jay" Rockefeller (D-West Va.) and has led a legislative effort to increase spectrum for public and private sector use. She would take over the seat currently held by Democrat Michael J. Copps, whom she previously served as an advisor, when his tenure ends this year.

Pai, who serves as a partner in the law firm Jenner & Block, worked for former FCC chairman Kevin Martin in the agency's general council office. He will take over the seat left behind by Republican Meredith Attwell Baker, who left the agency for Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), last spring.

Now their nominations will face Senate confirmation, which a Washington Post article citing various experts said "could be within weeks."

Both candidates will join the FCC at a time when the agency is in the midst of two major transitions: redirecting the Universal Service Fund (USF) away from providing funding for just phone service to broadband, and implementing net neutrality rules that are already being challenged by large service providers like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and various industry groups.

For more:
- The Washington Post has this article

Related articles:
FCC's new USF Connect America fund draws different reactions
Competitive phone companies face $11.7M in FCC fines over mystery fees
Verizon relaunches net neutrality lawsuit against FCC
FCC lays out USF reform plan that redirects funds to broadband

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