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Indian-American Ajit Pai may be head US Communication commission

Currently, the FCC is headed by Tom Wheeler, a nominee of the Democratic Party, and a change in leadership is due with the election of Trump

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New York, Jan 19, 2017: Ajit Pai, a commissioner in the US communications regulatory agency, has met President-elect Donald Trump amid speculation that he could head the body that deals with cellphone spectrum and broadcasting.

Trump’s spokesperson Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that the meeting with Pai, who is the Republican nominee on the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), took place on Monday.

Currently, the FCC is headed by Tom Wheeler, a nominee of the Democratic Party, and a change in leadership is due with the election of Trump.

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The position of FCC chairman has to be approved by the Senate.

The FCC is the federal authority regulating radio, television, phone, cellphone spectrum and services, internet and satellite and cable.

Pai, whose parents are doctors who immigrated from India, is a lawyer and has served with the government, Congress and the private sector.

A free enterprise advocate in the Republican mould, he has been a critic of the functioning of the FCC and has clashed with its leadership.

Recently, he took issue with an FCC report that questioned the legality of offerings that are used by people to access online music, videos, and other content free of charge.

Trump has nominated two Indian-Americans to high-level positions: Nikki Haley as the Cabinet-level Ambassador to the United Nations, and Seema Verma as the head of the agency for government health insurance programmes.

In addition, Trump has appointed Raj Shah as his deputy assistant and research director on the White House staff.

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Another Indian American, Balaji Srinivasan, met Trump last week and Spicer said that he was under consideration for a role at the the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

Srinivasan is a technology entrepreneur who has founded a biotech company and has been critical of the links between large pharmaceutical companies and the FDA and the agency’s reach that he asserted stifles tech innovations.

He currently heads a start-up that deals with bitcoin, the internet-based currency. (IANS)

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US House of Representatives to Vote in April to Reinstate Net Neutrality Rules Repealed under Trump

Republicans oppose reinstating the 2015 rules that grant the FCC sweeping authority to oversee the conduct of internet providers

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FILE - Net neutrality advocates rally in front of the Federal Communications Commission ahead of a vote to repeal net neutrality rules in Washington, Dec. 13, 2017. VOA

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives will vote in April on a bill to reinstate landmark net neutrality rules repealed by the Federal Communications Commission under President Donald Trump.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said in a letter to colleagues on Thursday, seen by Reuters, that lawmakers would vote on the “Save the Internet Act” during the week of April 8.

The bill mirrors an effort last year to reverse the FCC’s December 2017 order that repealed rules approved in 2015 that barred providers from blocking or slowing internet content or offering paid “fast lanes.”

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Republicans oppose reinstating the 2015 rules that grant the FCC sweeping authority to oversee the conduct of internet providers. VOA

The reversal of net neutrality rules was a win for internet providers like Comcast Corp., AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., but opposed by content and social media companies like Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc.
and Alphabet Inc.

The bill would repeal the order introduced by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, bar the FCC from reinstating it or a substantially similar order and reinstate the 2015 net neutrality order.

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The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, voted in May 2018 to reinstate the rules, but the House did not take up the issue before Congress adjourned last year. VOA

ALSO READ: China’s Race to 5G Raises National Security Implications Between US and China

Republicans oppose reinstating the 2015 rules that grant the FCC sweeping authority to oversee the conduct of internet providers.

The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, voted in May 2018 to reinstate the rules, but the House did not take up the issue before Congress adjourned last year. The White House opposes reinstating the net neutrality rules and it is not clear that proponents will be able to force a vote in the Senate.  (VOA)