FCC chairman Ajit Pai set to depart in January 2021

FCC Chair
FCC Chair (Image credit: FCC)

What you need to know

  • FCC chair Ajit Pai has announced his intention to step down from the body next year.
  • His departure is set for January 20, 2021.
  • Pai presided over the FCC for four years, beginning in 2017.

FCC head, Ajit Pai, is set to leave the body in January 2021 with the exit of the Trump Administration. Pai would have served in his role as the FCC chairman for four years when he leaves, and stands as the only FCC chair under the administration.

Commenting on his exit, Pai shared the following remarks:

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. I am grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity to lead the agency in 2017, to President Obama for appointing me as a Commissioner in 2012, and to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate fo twice confirming me. To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America.

Pai also shared his appreciation of the FCC staff and the contribution of the commission towards the expansion of 5G coverage in the country.

I also deeply appreciate the chance to have worked alongside the FCC's talented staff. They are the agency's best assets, and they have performed heroically, especially during the pandemic. It's also been an honor to work with my fellow Commissioners to execute a strong and broad agenda. Together, we've 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. And this FCC has not shied away from making tough choices. As a result, our nation's communications networks are now faster, stronger, and more widely deployed than ever before.

Pai presided over the FCC through some of its most controversial decisions including its successful campaign against net neutrality in 2017. He also watched over the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, two of America's then-four largest carriers.

Michael Allison