With Ajit Pai stepping down, the net neutrality debate is roaring back

Net neutrality protest

Activists gather in Washington DC outside FCC headquarters in December 2017 to protest the repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections.  


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

An old battle over who governs the internet will likely reignite as Democrats take control of the Federal Communications Commission following the inauguration of Joe Biden. Reinstating Obama-era net neutrality rules thrown out under the Trump administration will likely be a top priority for the agency, experts say. 

Earlier this week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, an appointee of President Donald Trump, announced he’ll be stepping down from his post on Jan. 20 — the day Biden is sworn in. That paves the way for a Democrat to lead the agency and reestablish the FCC’s authority to impose rules of the road for the internet. 

At

Read More

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who killed net neutrality, will step down after Trump term ends

ajit-pai-smiling.jpg

Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, will finish up in January.


Mark Licea/CNET

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will step down Jan. 20, the agency said in a release Monday. He was appointed by President Donald Trump, who took office in 2017, and will leave on the day Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, is inaugurated.

“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 in the release. “I am grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity to lead the agency in 2017, to President Obama for appointing me as a Commissioner in 2012, and to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate for twice confirming me. To be the first Asian American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in

Read More

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to leave telecom agency on January 20

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, says he is leaving the telecommunications regulator on Inauguration Day.

President-elect Joe Biden will choose a new Democratic head for the agency. A new administration typically picks a new chairman.

Pai has presided over a contentious FCC over the last four years. He undid net neutrality rules that barred internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T from favoring some types of online traffic over others in 2017 and championed other deregulatory efforts. He has also worked to free up spectrum for cellphone companies so they can roll out 5G, the next-generation wireless standard that promises faster speeds, and cracked down on Chinese telecom companies as national security threats.

The incoming FCC is likely to try to reinstate net neutrality rules and focus on closing the “digital divide,” getting internet service to Americans who don’t have it because it’s not available or they

Read More