US President Donald Trump nominated telecom lawyer Nathan Simington to a five-year term at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), seeking to bolster his support at the agency after an apparent dispute with outgoing Commissioner Michael O’Rielly.
Simington is a senior adviser at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) focused on 5G and supply chain security. He previously served as senior counsel for mobile device distributor Brightstar.
The Washington Post reported he had a hand in drafting an executive order Trump issued in May to restrict liability protections for social media companies including Twitter and Facebook.
Trump abruptly withdrew his recommendation of O’Rielly for a third term at the FCC in August, after the Commissioner repeatedly expressed concerns the executive order could hamper free speech.
In April, O’Rielly and the Trump administration clashed over his backing for an FCC order allowing satellite company Ligado Networks to deploy 5G services using L-band spectrum, a move opposed by several government agencies.
The Senate must approve Simington’s appointment.