Several of the FCC commissioner posts have been unfilled for a while, since nobody President Bush would have nominated would have been approved by the U.S. Senate, so he didn’t try.
President Obama has his new team on board as of Monday. The board consists of five people, with no more than three being of the same political party. They serve 5 year terms.
Mignon Clyburn is from South Carolina. She is the daughter of House Democratic Party Whip Jim Cyburn. After graduating from college, she ran The Coastal Times, an African-American newspaper founded by her father, that was distributed free in black churches in the Charleston area.
She then got a job on the South Carolina Public Service Commission, which is a job she has held for 11 years. Being appointed to the FCC has been a life long dream.
Meredith Baker is the new Republican on the FCC commission. She is a telecommunications lawyer from Texas. Since 2004, she has been “Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Acting Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). ” The NTIA was the agency responsible for running the Digital Converter coupon program that was such a disaster the DTV conversion had to be pushed back by months. More generally, the NTIA is tasked with managing the electromagnetic spectrum and coordination with other countries about technology issues (like WiMax, Cell phone bandwidth allocations, etc..)
If you’re thinking to yourself – “whew”, at least we have someone looking out for us, read this speech she gave at a conference in India. While she makes a token statement about the United States having a role in how the Internet is managed, she is fully on board with the idea that the United Nations and its agencies should ultimately be reponsible for making the big decisions about how the Internet is run and managed.