The U.S. Senate on Oct. 29 confirmed President Barack Obama’s appointments of Thomas E. Wheeler and Michael P. O’Reilly to five-year terms as members of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), whose duties include regulating and licensing satellite telecommunications services.

Wheeler, who will serve as FCC chairman, is a former telecommunications entrepreneur and lobbyist. He is a past president of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association and the National Cable Television Association. 

O’Reilly is a former Capitol Hill staffer and will fill the open Republican slot on the FCC that was vacated by Robert McDowell in May.

Wheeler fills the chairmanship vacated by Julius Genachowski, also in May. Mignon Clyburn has been serving as acting chairwoman of the FCC since then.