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Senate Confirms Ajit Pai for FCC Chairman

Ajit Pai
Chip Somodevilla/Getty
SEAN MORAN

The Senate confirmed Ajit Pai to serve as the chairman for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday.

The Senate confirmed Pai on Monday 52-41.

Pai served as a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission for five years before President Donald Trump nominated him to serve as the chairman of the agency in January 2017. Pai’s confirmation will allow him to serve as the chairman of the federal agency for five years.

On the Senate floor, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) described Pai as a person of “strong character and conviction” as well as an “intelligent, and articulate public servant.”

In May 2015, Pai started the process to repeal the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality order to regulate the internet as a public utility.

Net neutrality passed under former Democrat Tom Wheeler’s FCC in 2015. The rule, known as the Open Internet Order, reclassified the internet as a public monopoly. Critics chided the rule, stating that it would diminish the freedom of the internet. Proponents argue that the regulations prevent Internet service providers from discriminating against content providers.

Pai also argued that Congress should enact legislation to enshrine the principles of a free internet in law. Pai explained, “We don’t want the regulatory winds to keep shifting every four or eight years. We want to provide some level of consistency to the marketplace so that consumers and companies alike can enjoy the digital revolution.”

One of Pai’s main goals at the FCC is to close the “digital divide” between those who have Internet access and Americans who still do not get to enjoy the modern wonder of the Internet.

Pai told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview, “The digital divide is one of the issues that really motivates my work at the FCC – that there are too many Americans, disproportionately rural and low-income urban Americans, who do not have the same access to the internet and other advanced technologies as the rest of us do.”

The FCC chairman argues that rolling back onerous internet regulation will foster technological innovation. Pai told Breitbart News, “We want America to be the leader in innovation.”

Pai released a statement on Monday, thanking the Senate for giving him the opportunity to serve a second term at the FCC.

Pai said,“I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Senate for confirming my nomination to serve a second term at the FCC and to President Trump for submitting that nomination to the Senate.  Since January, the Commission has focused on bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and making the FCC more open and transparent. With today’s vote, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to advance these critical priorities in the time to come.”

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