Economy

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai abruptly cancels CES appearance

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai abruptly cancels CES appearance

The cancellation comes hot in the heels of the regulator's repeal of net neutrality in the USA in December 2017 - prompting speculation that Pai would have been greeted with a hostile reaction at the conference from the largely pro-net neutrality tech industry. But CES hosts the FCC's chairman annually thanks to the agency's prime role in policies concerning consumer electronics devices, so his absence would be unusual.

Pai had planned to have a "candid conversation" at CES about how the FCC sets policy, likely including the net neutrality ruling and possible legal challenges. This will also be the first time in last five years when Pai will miss the expo.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai will not speak this year at CES. Federal authorities are charging a net neutrality supporter for threatening to kill Republican Rep. John Katko and do harm to his family.

On Thursday, Shapiro told Digital Trends that Pai did not tell him why he was canceling his appearance, but speculated that his decision had to do with his personal security.

Pai and Federal Trade Commission Acting Chair Maureen Ohlhausen were to appear in a session titled "Insights from the FCC and FTC".

More news: Khloe Kardashian Remains Mum on Sister Kylie's Pregnancy Gossip

Pai might have had to answer questions about the repeal and coming lawsuits if he had gone through with his scheduled appearance at CES.

With Pai's cancellation, CES 2018 will be a rare case where the FCC chairman has not been in attendance. But 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.

Supporters of net neutrality say the rules are necessary to ensure broadband companies don't abuse their power as gatekeepers of the internet.

Three other FCC commissioners - Brendan Carr, Michael O'Rielly, and Mignon Clyburn - are scheduled to attend a separate panel previewing the 2018 regulatory environment.


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