Industry News

Commissioner Ajit Pai tapped as FCC Chairman


President Trump has tapped current Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Varadaraj Pai as the next Chairman of the FCC. A move not requiring Senate confirmation since Commissioner Pai was already confirmed to the agency in 2012 as a Commissioner nominated by Former President Obama.

Commissioner Pai has laid out a number of his positions in his biography on the FCC website, and favors reducing bureaucracy in order to promote growth in telecommunication infrastructure. He stated the Government must “create a roadmap” for state and local governments eliminating what he calls “unnecessary regulatory hoops” broadband companies currently face. He believes “the federal government must make it easier to for broadband providers to retire increasingly obsolete copper lines in favor of next-generation technologies like fiber.”

On Wireless, Commissioner Pai states the Government “must streamline the process for deploying wireless infrastructure, from big towers to small cells” and it “must free up more licensed spectrum for use by wireless carriers and more unlicensed spectrum for things like Wi-Fi.”

Commissioner Pai is a staunch proponent of First Amendment freedoms and has been outspoken about threats facing free speech in the United States and around the world, and has warned against government efforts that may infringe on free speech rights.

One particular issue that Chairman Pai will likely face in the near future is the AT&T-Time Warner merger, which although President Trump made statements against as then Candidate Trump, Pai is seen as more favorable towards, and since being elected President, Trump has appointed a team of telecom advisors seen widely as favorable towards the deal due to their anti-regulation, pro-industry positions with a history favorable towards large mergers.

Commissioner Pai graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1994 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1997.

The son of immigrants from India, Commissioner Pai grew up in Parsons, Kansas. He now lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Janine; son, Alexander; and daughter, Annabelle.



About Jesse Petrilla

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