WASHINGTON D.C. —  Today, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on oversight of the Federal Communications Commission. Yesterday, Chairman Ajit Pai was renominated for another term on the FCC. The President designated Pai as chairman on Inauguration Day, which does not require Senate approval, but the Senate must reconfirm Pai for a second term as a commissioner before the end of the year.

Pai’s renomination should be encouraging to anyone concerned with bridging the digital divide,” said TechFreedom President Berin Szóka. “Late last year, Pai laid out his ‘Digital Empowerment Agenda,’ which incorporates the Broadband Deployment Advisory Council TechFreedom proposed in 2015 and would help address the challenges faced in expanding broadband access in underserved, particularly rural areas. We expect the BDAC to get up and running quickly, and to play a key role in ensuring that new legislation at the federal, state and local level makes broadband deployment easier.”

During his brief time as chairman, Pai has already taken important steps in making the agency’s rulemaking process more transparent. Last month, Pai announced a new plan to make documents related to the FCC’s monthly open meetings available to the public prior to each meeting. Previously, these documents were kept secret until after the final vote.

Pai has long been a champion for open government,”concluded Szóka. “It’s refreshing that he hasn’t abandoned his commitment to transparency and due process now that those principles will benefit Democrats.”


We can be reached for comment at media@techfreedom.org. See our other work on the FCC, including:

  • Our statement on the need for a legislative solution to net neutrality
  • Our statement on Pai’s proposal on Gigabit Opportunity Zones
  • Our statement on the FCC’s stay of broadband privacy rules