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Indian American FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to step down

Washington, DCThe reign of Ajit Pai as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission will end on January 20, the day President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in. The Indian American announced his intention to leave the commission in a statement issued on November 30.

His term was scheduled to end in June 2021. 

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC over the past four years,” said Pai, who was first nominated to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2012. He was elevated as chairman by President Donald Trump in 2017.

In the statement, Pai thanked both presidents and his colleagues at the FCC. “To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege,” he said. “As I often say: only in America.”

FCC, regulated by Congress, is a federal agency that oversees all interstate and international radio, television, wire, satellite and cable communication in the country.

Pai, who was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in Parsons, KS, highlighted a number of his accomplishments as FCC chair. He said, “Together, [he and other commissioners] delivered for the American people over the past four years: closing the digital divide; promoting innovation and competition, from 5G on the ground to broadband from space; protecting consumers; and advancing public safety.

Pai’s term is notable for the controversial repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rule in December 2017.

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