FCC head drops CES appearance - Mobile World Live

FCC head drops CES appearance

04 JAN 2019

US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai (pictured) cancelled a scheduled speaking slot at CES for a second consecutive year, due to an ongoing government shutdown.

Politico Pro reported both Pai and Commissioner Brendan Carr were forced to drop out of the event after the agency halted non-essential operations on Thursday due to a lack of funding from Congress.

The chairman was set to discuss how the FCC “navigates the rapidly changing technological landscape” with Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro, while Carr was to be part of a panel exploring policy issues related to hot topics including 5G and privacy.

CES acknowledged in a press release “some of our scheduled government speakers at CES 2019 have alerted us that they must cancel their travel to the show” due to the shutdown, and encouraged attendees to check the event schedule to see which individuals are still speaking.

Pai cancelled his appearance at CES 2018 at the last minute after receiving death threats following his successful campaign to repeal net neutrality rules in December 2017. It was reportedly the first time in five years Pai hadn’t attended the event, but Carr and two other FCC commissioners went on to represent the agency at the show.

It is unclear how long the budget dispute causing the government closure will last, and whether Pai and Carr’s events will be reinstated if operations resume before CES begins on 8 January.



Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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