FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his intention to step down from the commission at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. Pai has been a member of the FCC since 2012.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve on the Federal Communications Commission, including as chairman of the FCC for the past four years,” Pai said in a statement. “Being the first Asian American to chair the FCC has been a special privilege. As I often say: only in America. “
Pai was appointed president in 2017 and served during the Trump administration, overseeing an unusually active period in federal telecommunications policy. He began his term with the controversial decision to roll back the Title II classification, overturning the Net Neutrality rules put in place under President Obama.
Most recently, Pai oversaw the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, which he called a “unique opportunity to accelerate the rollout of 5G across the United States.” Pai has also implemented new measures to tackle robocalls and created a national suicide prevention hotline. Pai’s tenure coincided with a significant shift in Republican telecommunications policy, with Republican commissioners like Brendan Carr arguing for a more aggressive role for the FCC in regulating social media platforms.
In his statement, Pai placed particular emphasis on the procedural transparency measures he has put in place. “For the first time ever, we’ve made public the draft proposals and scheduled orders for a vote three weeks ahead of the agency’s monthly meetings,” Pai said, “making it the most transparent FCC in the world. ‘history.