The current FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, announced yesterday his plans to resign on January 20th, 2021, a year short of the five year term. His successor has not yet emerged, but I’m sure that will change over the next month and a half.
The news will surprise few given the result of the presidential election, as the incoming administration will obviously shift the FCC majority back in its favor. The prior FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, did the same thing four years ago.
Under Pai’s chairmanship, the title II classification of broadband service was removed, thus hamstringing network neutrality. That was, of course, followed by chaos, none of which had anything to do with network neutrality or even telecommunications for the most part. The commission went about its work of course, but managed to do so mostly out of the public eye.
In fact, in the past four years the FCC seems to have managed to keep its head down for the most part. And love him or not, Pai has managed something few in the current administration did: serving the full four years Donald Trump without getting fired or even really getting his hands dirty or reputation besmirched in a hyper-partisan environment. I’m sure he’ll turn up somewhere else soon, whether it is in the private sector or at some conservative think tank or something.
If you were wondering, that’s as close to politics I’m going to get. Let the speculation about the next potential FCC Chairman commence.
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