President Donald Trump renominated FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday, extending Pai’s role into a second five-year term.
Trump appointed Pai to the position in January, during Pai’s grace period. Pai was first appointed under President Barack Obama in 2012. Commissioners are permitted to stay in the agency for a year after their term is over, meaning that Pai can transition directly into the second term. Senate confirmation, set for Wednesday, is expected to go without a hitch.
“I am deeply honored to have been nominated by President Trump to serve a second term on the Federal Communications Commission,” Pai said in a statement on Tuesday. “If I am fortunate to be confirmed by the Senate, I will continue to work with my colleagues to connect all Americans with digital opportunity, foster innovation, protect consumers, promote public safety, and make the FCC more open and transparent to the American people.”
“It is heartening to learn that President Trump has nominated my friend and colleague, Chairman Pai, for a well-deserved new term on the Commission,” said Commissioner Michael O’Rielly. “I know Ajit looks forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead. Together, we can achieve much to bring our rules into line with marketplace realities, removing unnecessary burdens on providers – and thus consumers – while also improving our internal procedures.”
In particular, Pai is expected to follow Trump’s lead in cutting down on regulations and opposing Net Neutrality rules that maintain that all internet content should be accessible to the same degree regardless of the source.
“TPA is excited to hear that Ajit Pai has officially been renominated by President Trump to lead the FCC for another five years,” Taxpayers Protection Alliance President David Williams said. “This will continue a welcome change in a positive direction for the agency … Chairman Pai has also been a champion for the creative community, using his influence at the FCC to protect intellectual property and copyright, while encouraging innovation and advancements in technology and content. Most notably, Chairman Pai has been an aggressive advocate for a truly open internet, having fought against Net Neutrality rules promulgated by ex-Chairman Wheeler.”
“Pai’s renomination should be encouraging to anyone concerned with bridging the digital divide,” TechFreedom President Berin Szóka said in a statement. “Late last year, Pai laid out his ‘Digital Empowerment Agenda,’ which incorporates the Broadband Deployment Advisory Council TechFreedom proposed in 2015 and would help address the challenges faced in expanding broadband access in underserved, particularly rural areas. We expect the BDAC to get up and running quickly, and to play a key role in ensuring that new legislation at the federal, state and local level makes broadband deployment easier.”
Two more positions in the commission are still slated to be filled.
Filed Under: Industry regulations