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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to leave telecom agency on January 20

Pai has presided over a contentious FCC over the last four years.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this June 24, 2020 file photo, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai testifies during a Senate committee hearing.

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, says he is leaving the telecommunications regulator on Inauguration Day. 

President-elect Joe Biden will choose a new Democratic head for the agency. A new administration typically picks a new chairman. 

Pai has presided over a contentious FCC over the last four years.

He undid net neutrality rules that barred internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T from favoring some types of online traffic over others in 2017 and championed other deregulatory efforts. 

“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," Pai said in a statement. "To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege.  As I often say: only in America." 

The incoming FCC chair is likely to try to reinstate net neutrality rules and focus on getting internet service to more Americans.

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