Obama nominates Senate aide O'Rielly as next Republican FCC commissioner

President Obama has nominated Michael O'Rielly, an aide to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), for one of the vacant Republican spots on the FCC.

O'Rielly's nomination comes as the process to confirm Tom Wheeler as FCC chairman continues to move through the Senate. On Tuesday, Wheeler's nomination got approval from the Senate Commerce Committee. He now needs the vote by the full Senate.

However, as reported by FierceWireless, the nominations of O'Rielly and Wheeler may not be voted on for several weeks as Congress heads into August recess.

When Wheeler and O'Rielly are confirmed, the FCC will be able to again operate with its full five member panel. Right now, the FCC is being overseen by Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn.

O'Rielly, reports Reuters, has spent two decades dealing with telecom policy issues. Before working for Cornyn, he advised former Senator John Sununu of New Hampshire and former House Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley of Virginia on telecommunications issues.

He'd join FCC commissioner Ajit Pai as the FCC's second Republican, taking over from Robert McDowell, who departed the regulator earlier this year.

"I congratulate Mike O'Rielly on his nomination to serve as an FCC Commissioner," Pai said in a statement. "His expertise, experience, and fresh perspective will be a tremendous asset to the commission as we confront the many challenging issues on our agenda. I look forward to working with him and wish him all the best during the confirmation process."

Among the wireline issues that the new FCC leaders will  grapple with are USF reform and the call from large incumbent telcos to transition their TDM-based wireline voice networks to all-IP.

For more:
- Reuters has this article

Editor's Corner: 5 wireline issues Wheeler will face if he becomes FCC chairman

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