Pai set for net neutrality battle after reappointment - Mobile World Live

Pai set for net neutrality battle after reappointment

03 OCT 2017
FCC chairman Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will serve at the US regulator for a second term lasting five-years, after being reappointed by the US senate.

Pai (pictured), who joined the FCC as commissioner in 2012 and was appointed as chairman in January by President Donald Trump, was approved by 52 votes to 41.

He was expected to face a battle in securing another term after being criticised by Democratic senators for his attempts roll back net neutrality and internet data privacy rules.

The Republican majority saw Pai home, as he was praised for his attempts to boost rural internet in the country.

In a statement, Pai pledged to focus on “bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and making the FCC more open and transparent”.

Pai’s attempts to overturn rules banning network providers from providing faster internet services to certain websites or services generated most of the headlines during his nine months in charge of the FCC.

The proposals have faced opposition from major internet companies, but are favoured by operators including Verizon and AT&T.

A final vote on the issue is expected at the end of this year.

According to Reuters, US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer argued Pai had “established a clear record of favouring big corporations at the expense of consumers, innovators and small businesses”.

On the other side, Republican Senator John Thune backed Pai’s push to withdraw current internet rules, which he said “rebalances its regulatory posture”.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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