Categories: Networks

Trump Appoints Net Neutrality Opponent To Lead US Communications Regulator

US president Donald Trump has appointed Ajit Pai as chairman of the country’s communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in a move expected to boost efforts to dismantle US network neutrality rules.

Pai, 44, the Kansas-born son of Indian immigrants, previously served as a staffer with various government bodies, and worked for Verizon in the early 2000s.

Net neutrality opponent

Using incendiary rhetoric recalling that of Trump he has consistently opposed restrictions including network neutrality measures, data-collection restraints for Internet service providers and conditions on mergers involving communications companies.

“During the Trump administration, we will shift from playing defence at the FCC to going on offence,” he said in December. “We need to fire up the weed whacker and remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation, and job creation.”

Network neutrality rules are intended to block service providers from offering preferential network performance in exchange for higher rates.

Pai was elevated from a commissioner’s role and his appointment doesn’t require a confirmation hearing. His term expires at the end of the year, however, and he will require reconfirmed to continue.


His appointment gives the Republican party a majority at the FCC, something expected to aid efforts to remove regulations put into place by the Obama administration.

Proponents of network neutrality say it is necessary to keep the Internet from devolving into multiple tiers depending on users’ ability to pay.

Former chairman Tom Wheeler, who left the office on Friday, last week warned commissioners against removing the net neutrality rules.

What do you know about the new US President Donald Trump and his relationship with technology? Try our quiz!

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

BNP Paribas Joins JP Morgan Blockchain Trading Network

French bank BNP Paribas becomes first European bank to join JP Morgan's blockchain-based Onyx Digital…

5 hours ago

SEC Held Off Elon Musk Enforcement ‘Due To Court Fears’

US securities regulators may have refrained from enforcement actions against Elon Musk due to discouraging…

6 hours ago

Snap Earnings Warning Triggers Tech Sell-Off

Investors spooked after Snap warns of deteriorating economic conditions, says earnings now 'below the low…

8 hours ago

Russian Operator Discounts Smartphones As Sanctions Bite

Biggest Russian mobile operator MTS begins selling discounted and second-hand smartphones as Russians hit by…

8 hours ago

Clearview AI Fined £7.5m Over Facial Recognition Data

UK Information Commissioner's Office orders controversial facial recognition firm Clearview AI to delete data it…

9 hours ago

Airbnb To Pull Out Of China Amidst ‘Pandemic Challenges’

Airbnb to pull out of China as ongoing zero-Covid policy places severe restrictions on domestic…

10 hours ago