President Trump has appointed Ajit Pai to serve as Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Ajit Pai has served as a Republican Commissioner at the FCC since 2012.
Pai is the senior Republican Commissioner at the FCC and was widely expected to be appointed Chair. While supportive of the E-rate Modernization efforts in 2014, Pai dissented to the final form of the regulations, stating that the changes created unnecessary complexity within the program. He described the new regulations as a lack of real reform and stated, “…let’s start with one point of apparently universal agreement: The E-Rate application process must be, as the Order puts it, “fast, simple, and efficient.” And yet the rhetoric doesn’t match the reality….”
The FCC operates with a five-person board, all of whom are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Pai originally was nominated to the Commission by President Obama. He was confirmed by the Senate on May 7, 2012. The departure of outgoing Chairman Tom Wheeler and his fellow Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has left the FCC Commission with a three-member board. President Trump will appoint another Republican and a Democrat to complete the Board at a later date.
The FCC is expected to tackle many high priority issues this year, such as net neutrality. President Trump’s transition team has indicated that the FCC may be reorganized to reflect the blurring of the lines between the telecommunications technologies.
Further information about the incoming FCC Chairman Pai can be viewed here.