United States President Donald Trump has chosen Indian-American Ajit Pai to be the next chairperson of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai, who has been a commissioner at the FCC since 2012 and is known for his opposition to net neutrality, thanked Trump for selecting him. “It is a deeply humbling honour,” said Pai.
The five-member FCC panel currently has three members – two Republicans and a Democrat. The two vacant seats will be filled by a Republican and a Democrat. With the Republicans at the helm of affairs at the FCC now, the airwaves and internet connections regulator may withdraw the policies implemented during Barack Obama’s tenure. The FCC under Pai is likely to favour big phone and cable companies, reported AP.
Pai has been vocal about his opposition to net neutrality. During a speech in December last year, Pai had said that the new government would undo the net neutrality rules that bar internet service providers from favouring certain websites and apps over others. Apart from net neutrality, Pai is also against online privacy regulations. Pai believes in a free market system with minimal regulation, reported The Verge.
Pai has served the government for 15 years. He has been a Senate staffer and worked at the FCC and the Justice Department before. He was also a lawyer for Verizon and an attorney at Jenner & Block. However, his tenure at FCC will expire this year. He will need a reconfirmation from the Senate before receiving a new five-year term.