FCC chair Ajit Pai, joined by the rest of the Republican majority at the FCC, are scheduled to appear Friday (Feb. 23) at the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference.
It will not be Pai's first appearance but it will be his first as FCC chair. He is included among some big-name, cabinet-level-and-above Trump administration officials who will be speaking, including the President and Vice President, and Secretaries Betsy De Voss (Education), Rick Perry (Energy) and Ryan Zinke (Interior).
Pai has long advocated for a deregulatory FCC agenda and conservative policies that dovetail with CPAC's. In fact, while being interviewed at CPAC in 2015, he talked about the possibility of a differently constituted FCC rolling back the 2015 Open Internet order, something he and his fellow CPAC attendees, commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr, did last December.
Pai is scheduled to speak for about 10 minutes at lunchtime -- billed as "American Pai: The Courageous Chairman of the FCC" -- before joining Carr and O'Rielly for a discussion tabbed "To Infinity and Beyond: How the FCC is Paving the Way for Innovation."
Pai’s innovation mantra has included rolling back net neutrality regs, freeing up more spectrum for 5G and approving the voluntary rollout of the ATSC 3.0 next-gen broadcast transmission standard.
Pai has been the subject of threats over his net neutrality stand, and consequently canceled appearances at a couple of events, including CES in Las Vegas, but he recently agreed to keynote the American Cable Association Summit and the Free State Foundation policy forum, both next month, though, like the CPAC appearance, they are in town and among an audience that will almost certainly give him a warm deregulatory welcome.