Tags: Net Neutrality | ajit pai | consumer | electronics show | fcc | chairman

FCC Chair a No-show at Electronics Expo After Nixing Net Neutrality

FCC Chair a No-show at Electronics Expo After Nixing Net Neutrality
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 04 January 2018 01:43 PM

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has pulled out of a scheduled appearance at next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas — and tech analysts are speculating he did not want to take the heat for his agency's killing of net neutrality.

Pai, who spearheaded the FCC's controversial decision, informed the Consumer Technology Association he would not be available for what was billed as a "candid conversation" with FTC acting chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen, moderated by association president Gary Shapiro.

No reason was given for the pullout by Pai, who has attended CES for the past five years.

"Unfortunately, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is unable to attend CES 2018," Shapiro said in a statement. "We look forward to our next opportunity to host a technology policy discussion with him before a public audience."

Speculation is Pai might be ducking the conference to avoid a grilling by pro-net neutrality attendees. Net neutrality required Internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally, but Pai argued it was too restrictive and hurt the broadband industry.

"It stands to reason that Pai thought it best to avoid a real and potentially heated discussion on the matter with the public,'' tech industry writer Yoni Heisler said on bgr.com.

And Mashable's tech expert Monica Chin commented: "Just a month after the FCC's repeal of net neutrality, of which Pai was champion, the conference probably wouldn't have welcomed him with open arms."

Chin added an online petition demanding Pai's resignation collected more than 100,000 signatures in December.

CES describes itself as "the world's gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years . . . [and] attracts the world's business leaders and pioneering thinkers."

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Politics
Tech analysts are speculating FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is ducking the heat for his agency's killing of net neutrality, pulling out of a scheduled appearance at next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
ajit pai, consumer, electronics show, fcc, chairman
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2018-43-04
Thursday, 04 January 2018 01:43 PM
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