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WASHINGTON — FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai confirmed today that he’s President Donald Trump’s choice to chair the agency.

Pai has served as a Republican FCC commissioner since 2012. Trump’s decision to elevate Pai, a fierce Net Neutrality foe, is consistent with the administration’s choice of a transition team that included conservative Washington insiders with close ties to the phone and cable lobby. Prior to coming to the FCC, Pai worked as associate general counsel for Verizon.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

“Ajit Pai has been on the wrong side of just about every major issue that has come before the FCC during his tenure. He’s never met a mega-merger he didn’t like or a public safeguard he didn’t try to undermine. He’s been an inveterate opponent of Net Neutrality, expanded broadband access for low-income families, broadband privacy, prison-phone justice, media diversity and more.

“Pai has been an effective obstructionist who has always been eager to push out what the new presidential administration might call alternative facts in defense of the corporate interests he used to represent in the private sector. If Trump really wanted an FCC chairman who’d stand up against the runaway media consolidation that he himself decried in the AT&T/Time Warner deal, Pai would have been his last choice — though corporate lobbyists across the capital are probably thrilled.

“Millions of Americans from across the political spectrum have looked to the FCC to protect their rights to connect and communicate and cheered decisions like the historic Net Neutrality ruling, and Pai threatens to undo all of that important work. Those millions will rise up again to oppose his reactionary agenda.”

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