Ajit Pai to be fourth senior Indian American in Trump administration

Donald Trump has elevated Ajit Pai to chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, giving control over the agency to a reliable conservative who's been opposed to pretty much every big action the commission has taken in recent years, from establishing net neutrality to protecting consumer privacy to restricting major cable mergers.

On the other hand, Pai also argued that Wheeler's majority "us [ed] legal authority the FCC doesn't have" when it passed net neutrality rules and reclassified broadband as a common carrier service.

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The current nod might only be temporary, but that's unlikely: "Pai and fellow GOP Commissioner Mike O'Reilly, for example, said last month that they will "seek to revisit" the net neutrality rules 'as soon as possible, '" Politico reports.

"I'd refer you to the White House on this one", the spokesman said in an email to FierceWireless. As a result, he wouldn't need to go before the Senate for a confirmation hearing, the public questioning process that has already uncovered that the nominee for secretary of education hates public schools and the would-be secretary of energy doesn't know what his job would entail. "If the new president really wanted an FCC chairman who'd stand up against the runaway media consolidation that Trump himself decried in the AT&T/Time Warner deal, Pai would have been his last choice - though corporate lobbyists across the capital are probably thrilled".

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Commissioner Pai has laid out a number of his positions in his biography on the FCC website, and favors reducing bureaucracy in order to promote growth in telecommunication infrastructure.

Pai's core stance is a traditionally Republican one: free market, minimal regulation. Pai has served in office since the beginning of Obama's second term. Wheeler has said that such moves could dramatically lessen large ISPs' ability to be affected by federal oversight. Pai is already in the leadership team of the body as the senior Republican serving as commissioner since 2012. His FCC term technically expired previous year, but agency rules allow him to continue serving through 2017.

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Pai earlier in his career was an attorney for Verizon but has been in DC since 2004, starting as deputy chief counsel for Sen. That means Trump effectively gets to test out Pai for a bit before deciding whether to keep him around for much longer.


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