He will not be missed by many.
Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai has announced he’s planning on leaving the position on January 20, following the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden.
“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,” Pai said. “To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America.”
Pai became the figurehead of the Trump administration’s war on net neutrality — and as a result, one of the most hated men on the internet.
Immediately after he was appointed as chairman in 2017, Pai oversaw the reversal of Obama-era net neutrality rules, downgrading internet services’ Title II “common carrier service” classifications to Title I “information services.”
In other words, internet service providers were no longer bound to the principle that ensured all internet communications must be treated equally, meaning that companies with the means to do so could purchase “fast lanes” for their products.
Pai has argued that the gutting of net neutrality rules “will help promote digital opportunity,” according to a 2018 statement in response to a majority of the Senate voting to reverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules at the time.
Pai has also overseen the suspension of several participants from a program for low-income broadband subsides, as The New York Times reported in 2017, as well as an attempt to change how it handled consumer complaints with telecom carriers.
The chairman’s announcement also could result in the agency reaching a Democratic majority sooner than expected, as CNBC reports.
READ MORE: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will step down on January 20th [The Verge]
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