President Donald Trump nominated FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly for a new, five-year term at the agency. O’Rielly’s term expired at the end of June 2019, but commissioners can continue to serve until the close of the next session of Congress. If confirmed by the Senate, his new term would begin July 1, 2019, and end June 30, 2024.
This would be O’Rielly’s third term as an FCC Commissioner. The New York native was first nominated by President Barack Obama and was sworn into office in November 2013.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “The President has made a wise choice. Commissioner O’Rielly and I have worked side-by-side for over six years—he is not only a colleague, but a good friend. He’s made many contributions to the work of the Commission, from his leadership on 3.5 GHz spectrum policy to his unwavering advocacy against state misuse of 911 funding. And when we were in the minority, he consistently stood on principle while being pragmatic.”
Industry reacted favorably to the re-nomination and urged swift Senate confirmation. NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association, said the organization looks forward to continued collaboration with him “on important policy issues ranging from workforce development, promoting deregulation to streamline infrastructure deployments, expanding broadband to rural and underserved regions of the country, public safety communications and increasing the industry’s access to valuable spectrum,” said President and CEO Todd Schlekeway. He added having continuity on the Commission “is great news for our dynamic industry.”
O’Rielly “has been a champion for broadband buildout, and his focus on reducing regulatory barriers has given the U.S. a leg up in the global 5G race,” said Wireless Infrastructure Association President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “The Commissioner has shown true commitment to making more spectrum available, including promoting innovative, commercial use in the CBRS band. His staunch support of the FCC’s infrastructure orders promote American leadership in next-generation wireless networks.”
CTIA President/CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said O’Rielly, “has been a champion for smart spectrum policies, ending 911 fee diversion and countless other important wireless and broadband issues. His dedication to understanding the details of issues, commitment to the value of competition, and strong sense of regulatory humility have benefited wireless consumers in the U.S. and across the globe.”
“Without question, Commissioner O’Rielly has served in this position with class, integrity and distinction,” said NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith. “On a personal note, I’ve known Mike since his days as a Capitol Hill staffer, and I am so pleased with this reappointment.”
WISPA President/CEO Claude Aiken called O’Rielly, “a staunch ally in opening up the spectrum to more unlicensed use, right-sized regulatory approaches for small companies, and bridging the digital divide by, among other things, ensuring that government subsidies connect Americans who truly lack broadband access first. He is a tireless champion for getting all Americans online no matter where they live, and we greatly value his partnership, especially as it relates to helping more rural Americans obtain access to high-speed broadband.”
“Commissioner O’Rielly’s vast experience and knowledge of the issues make him an invaluable part of the FCC,” said Competitive Carriers Association President/CEO Steve Berry. “He understands competitive carrier issues and his office’s willingness to listen to CCA members’ issues is always greatly appreciated.”