President Barack Obama intends to nominate FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein to be administrator for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), which will administer $2.5 billion in grants and loads for rural broadband initiatives.
“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,” said acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps in a statement.
Before joining the commission, Adelstein, who has advocated for a substantive national broadband strategy, served for 15 years as a staff member in the U.S. Senate. For his final seven years, he was a senior legislative aide to then U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), where he advised Daschle on telecom, financial services, transportation and other key issues.
Adelstein’s term expired as of June 30, 2008, but an FCC provision enabled him to serve until Congress adjourns this year.
Upon Adelstein’s exit at the FCC, Obama will have three seats to fill – Adelstein’s and those of Kevin Martin and Deborah Taylor Tate.
Broadcasting & Cable reports that South Carolina public service commissioner Mignon Clyburn is the frontrunner for a Democratic spot and former RUS administrator Hilda Legg and former acting head of NTIA Meredith Baker are contenders for Republican seats.
The president’s nomination of Julius Genachowski as FCC chairman still must be confirmed by the Senate.
Filed Under: Industry regulations