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Trump names Pai FCC's new chairman, portending policy reversals

Trump names Pai FCC's new chairman, portending policy reversals

While net neutrality was something that former President Barack wanted to guarantee during his time in the office, providing strong legal protections, things may change drastically under Trump. We contacted Pai and his staff this afternoon but haven't heard back yet.

Pai's tenure at the commission is set to expire this year, so he'll need to be reconfirmed by the Senate if Republicans want him to stick around past 2017. But the move was strongly opposed by Pai and the FCC's other Republican, Michael O'Rielly, as well as GOP lawmakers and broadband providers.

On his resume, by the way, are previous stints as a policy lawyer for the Department of Justice, Senate Judiciary Committee and the FCC (before becoming a commissioner); he's also worked on behalf of Verizon and as a telecommunications attorney for Jenner & Block.

As a guest speaker during 5G Americas' annual technology briefing for government leaders in November 2015, in his presentation, The Future of Mobile Broadband in the Americas LTE to 5G Network Innovation, Commissioner Pai observed that the key to developing 5G in the U.S.is "freeing up more spectrum, removing barriers to infrastructure deployment, and encouraging innovation and investment in the network and mobile technologies". Wheeler won that battle when a federal appeals court upheld the net neutrality rules and reclassification. But in a December 7 speech to the Free State Foundation, a free-market think tank, Pai said he was "more confident than ever" that the "days are numbered" for the net neutrality regulations.




In his FCC bio, Pai argues that "consumers benefit most from competition, not preemptive regulation". A spokesman for Pai declined to comment and the Trump transition team did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

"Pai has been an effective obstructionist who looks out for the corporate interests he used to represent in the private sector". Pai is a known Republican, a member of the FCC since 2012, which means the new president's pick wouldn't be so bad since Pai would know how to lead the FCC considering he has been a member for so many years.

The FCC now has two Republicans and one Democrat. "Without qualification, NAB supports President Trump's selection of Ajit Pai to the position of FCC chairman".

Trump will now nominate replacement commissioners, giving his party the majority on the commission.

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