The president late Wednesday announced his intention to nominate South Carolina Public Service Commission member Mignon Clyburn to be a commissioner of the FCC.
Clyburn is a South Carolina public service commissioner and daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.). Sources said last week that she had already been vetted for the post by the administration.
She is currently the chair of the Washington Action Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
Since Republicans like to pair such nominations, look for a Republican nominee soon to fill the seat of Deborah Taylor Tate, who had to exit in January.
Making way for Clyburn is Jonathan Adelstein, who last week was officially nominated as administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to the Senate.
NARUC has been pushing the government to make it a key player in deciding who should get broadband stimulus grants, arguing it is in the best position to provide input and oversee data collection about broadband penetration.
At the American Cable Association convention in Washington this week, Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn, anticipating the nomination, said she was "something of an unknown," adding that Clyburn has been more involved in energy than telcom issues. "Some people say that because she is a Southern PUC Commissioner. She will automatically be favorably disposed to the Bells. I can't really say. I haven't talked to her and I think a lot of people in Washington never have."
But she said Clyburn could be key to the success of presumptive Chairman Julius Genachowski. "All it takes is to have one member of the same party who doesn't toe your line and you don't get a whole lot accomplished."