Indian American FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to step down

Ajit Pai

Pai’s term is notable for the repeal of net neutrality rule.

The reign of Ajit Pai as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission will end on January 20, the day President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in. The Indian American announced his intention to leave the commission in a statement issued on November 30.

His term was scheduled to end in June 2021,

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC over the past four years,” said Pai, who was first nominated to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2012. He was elevated as chairman by President Donald Trump in 2017.

In the statement, Pai thanked both presidents and his colleagues at the FCC. “To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege,” he said. “As I often say: only in America.”

FCC, regulated by Congress, is a federal agency that oversees all interstate and international radio, television, wire, satellite and cable communication in the country.

Pai, who was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in Parsons, KS, highlighted a number of his accomplishments as FCC chair. He said, “Together, [he and other commissioners] delivered for the American people over the past four years: closing the digital divide; promoting innovation and competition, from 5G on the ground to broadband from space; protecting consumers; and advancing public safety.

Pai’s term is notable for the controversial repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rule in December 2017.

Net neutrality was described by many as the first amendment of the internet whereby internet service providers treat everyone’s data equally. Its repeal enabled high-speed internet service providers to slow down or stop delivery of some websites or charge for providing high-quality streaming.

Pai’s statement alluded to the battle over net neutrality. “And this FCC has not shied away from making tough choices,” he said. “As a result, our nation’s communications networks are now faster, stronger, and more widely deployed than ever before.”


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Trump’s tweet seeking action against NBC puts Ajit Pai under pressure (October 17, 2017)

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Ajit Pai says FCC has no contact with White House over media coverage (July 20, 2017)

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Racist comments about Ajit Pai in FCC public review; Niraj Antani calls it disgusting (May 26, 2017)

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announces blue print to reverse net neutrality rules (April 26, 2017)

FCC Chief Ajit Pai expected to unveil new net neutrality plans on Wednesday (April 21, 2017)

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