Ajit Pai

Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

  • 2/19/15 Cited as net neutrality’s toughest critic, as an FCC commissioner votes against proposed rules that would establish net neutrality in the U.S. (Politico)
  • 12/8/16 As an FCC commissioner, vows to take a “weed whacker” to FCC regulations, and that net neutrality’s “days are numbered.” (ArsTechnica)

 

As Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

  • 2/3/17 Upon becoming chairman of the FCC, immediately and without public notice: (NYT)
    • Stops nine companies from providing discounted high-speed internet service to low-income individuals.
    • Withdraws an effort to keep prison phone rates down
    • Scraps a proposal to break open the cable box market, maintaining the existing monopolies.
    • Closes an investigation into zero-rating practices of the wireless providers T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. (Zero-rating is the offering of free streaming and other downloads that do not count against limits on the amount of data a consumer can download.)
    • Announces that he disagrees that broadband connection should be treated as a utility, the foundation of net neutrality rules.
  • 3/29/17 Announces he will eliminate the federal approval process for the LifeLine program, which administers subsidies for internet and phone services to the poor. (Hill)
  • 4/3/17 After Trump signs a bill that repeals regulations adopted in October by Obama's FCC requiring internet service providers do more to protect customers' privacy, Pai praises Trump for having “appropriately invalidated one part of the Obama-era plan for regulating the internet.". (Reuters)
  • 5/8/17 Says that the FCC would investigate Stephen Colbert's on-air joke about Trump, in which Colbert said that the only thing Trump's "mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's cock holster." (Hill)
  • 5/18/17 Holds a successful vote to roll back a 2015 decition that regulated Internet providers more heavily by using some of the same rules the agency applies to phone companies. (WaPo)
  • 7/11/17 Verizon, the former employer of Ajit Pai, along with Comcast and AT&T have spent $572 million over thirty years to kill net neutrality (MapLight)
  • 7/27/17 At an FCC oversight hearing with the House Commerce Committee, Pai defends his attempts to destroy net neutrality with disingenuous, non-squitur reasoning. (Gizmodo)
  • 10/2/17 The U.S. Senate grants Pai another term as chairman of the FCC despite widespread protest of his anti-net neutrality plans. (ArsTechnica)
  • 11/16/17 Votes along party lines (3-2) in favor of rolling back Lifeline, a program that subsidizes broadband and phone service for low income households. (Hill)
  • 11/21/17 Announces that the FCC will vote in December to roll back net neutrality rules that require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally. (Reuters)
  • 11/29/17 A petition for Pai to resign over his plan to kill net neutrality reaches over 103,000 signatures in just under a week, reaching the threshold for the White House needing to respond within 60 days. (DailyDot)
  • 12/5/17 Returns to former employer Verizon to speak at a conference on various data handling and internet policies. (iicom.org) (Pai's full speech via inverse.com)
  • 12/5/17 FCC ignores 50,000 net neutrality complaints on its repeal docket. (ArsTechnica)
  • 12/8/17 FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel speaks out against fraud being covered up at the FCC: “To put it simply, there is evidence in the FCC’s files that fraud has occurred, and the FCC is telling law enforcement and victims of identity theft that it is not going to help. Moreover, the FCC refuses to look into how nearly half a million comments came from Russian sources. Failure to investigate this corrupted record undermines our process for seeking public input in the digital age.” (Gizmodo)
  • 12/8/17 At the FCC's Federal Communications Bar Association annual gathering, makes a number of jokes, one being: "In collusion—I mean, in conclusion, sorry, my bad—many people are still shell-shocked that I’m up here tonight. They ask themselves, how on earth did this happen?” And in a pre-recorded video skit, plays a Verizon employee in Verizon's DC office in 2003 who speaks with a Verizon executive played by Kathy Grillo, Verizon's senior vice president and deputy general counsel. Their conversation is about Verizon's plan to brainwash and groom a "Verizon puppet" to install as FCC chairman. (Gizmodo with video)
  • 12/11/17 The FCC and FTC announce an agreement to coordinate their efforts to police the internet once the FCC has repealed its net neutrality rules, to "safeguard the public interest." (Hill)(the agreement)
  • 12/13/17 Posts a video of himself explaining the various things that people will still be able to do after net neutrality is repealed, featuring himself in various costumes and performing gag jokes with props. (AVClub with video)
  • 11/14/17 The FCC votes 3-2 along party lines to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules, allowing broadband providers to block websites and throttle traffic based on whatever criteria they choose. (NYT)
  • 2/15/18 Is reported that Pai is under investigation by FCC oversight over decisions that benefited Sinclair Broadcasting in aiding its attempt to purchase Tribune Media. (NYT)
  • 2/22/18Twenty two state attorneys general sue the FCC to stop the repeal of net neutrality, basing the suit on the Administrative Procedure Act, which they claim prevents the FCC from "arbitrary and capricious" redactions to already existing policy. (Hill)
  • 2/26/18 Pai receives the NRA's Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire award at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which is a very expensive musket and violates government ethics rules against recieiving gifts over $200 from entities which are affected by FCC rules. The NRA recently lobbied for the repeal of net neutrality rules. (ArsTechnica)
  • 5/23/18 Thirteen members of Congress write a letter to Pai criticizing his “repeated evasive responses to our inquiries” and “outright refusal to respond to some of the members of this Committee.” Unsatisfied with the answers or evasions he has offered to date, they reiterate questions related to net neutrality and other issues that they’ve sent over the past months. (TechCrunch)(the letter)
  • 6/11/18 The FCC officially repeals net neutrality. (NYT)
  • 7/10/18 Champions an FCC rule that would require a $225 fee for a consumer to lodge a formal complaint. (Verge)
  • 8/14/18 Congressional Democrats demand that Pai explain himself after the FCC falsely claims it had been the victim of a cyberattack in May 2017. (CNET)
  • 1/15/18 Refuses to brief lawmakers on egregious privacy violations by his former employer Verizon (ArsTechnica)
  • 3/29/19 Plans to limit the spending on a program that is designed to provide broadband internet access to the poor. (ArsTechnica)
  • 4/12/19 Is reported that one member of the FCC's "consumer advisory" panel is Jonathon Hauenschild, director of the American Legistlative Exchange Council's Task Force on Communications and Technology. ALEC lobbies against municipal broadband, net neutrality, and other consumer protection measures. (ArsTechnica)
  • 8/13/19 A federal court rejects the FCC attempt to allow telecoms to sidestep environmental and community impact reviews before putting up cell towers. (Techdirt)