* Baker has 12 years of industry experience - White House
* Senate panel likely to pair Baker, Clyburn at hearing
* Verizon, AT&T, Sprint support Baker
WASHINGTON, June 25 President Barack Obama
plans to nominate Meredith Attwell Baker to a Republican seat
on the Federal Communications Commission, the White House said
Baker has more than 12 years of experience in
telecommunications and technology policy in the private and
public sector, the White House said. She is a former Commerce
If formally nominated, the Senate Commerce Committee is
likely to pair the nominations of Baker and Mignon Clyburn, who
has been nominated to fill a Democratic seat at a hearing.
Clyburn is the daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn of
The White House announcement, which was widely expected,
comes one week after the nominations of Julius Genachowski,
Obama's Democratic pick to chair the FCC, and Robert McDowell,
a Republican, cleared the Senate Commerce Committee.
The full Senate could vote on the nominations of
Genachowski, a law school friend of Obama and a technology
industry executive, and McDowell as early as this week.
The FCC has been operating under Acting Chairman Michael
Copps, a Democrat who is planning to stay on the
five-commission panel. Jonathan Adelstein, a Democrat, is
expected to leave.
"Meredith Baker will be a strong, independent voice,"
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the top Republican on the Senate
committee, said in a statement.
Expanding broadband Internet access to rural parts of the
United States is among the top priorities the Obama
administration wants the FCC to tackle.
The FCC will help oversee billions of dollars in economic
stimulus money that Congress approved in incentives for states
and private companies to expand high-speed Internet in rural
and underserved areas.
The FCC is required to submit a broadband plan to Congress
Industry heavyweights Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N),
AT&T Inc (T.N) and Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N) also expressed
their support for Baker.
Baker was vice president at the firm of Williams Mullen
Strategies, where she focused on telecommunications,
intellectual property and international trade issues.
She is also a former senior counsel at Covad Communications
and former director of congressional affairs at the Cellular
Telecommunications Industry Association trade group.
She is a graduate of Washington & Lee University and has a
law degree from the University of Houston. She is a member of
the Texas State Bar.
(Reporting by John Poirier, additional reporting by Jeremy
Pelofsky; Editing Bernard Orr)