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PCCA Congratulates New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

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Alexandria, VA—The Power & Communication Contractors Association congratulates FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on being appointed as the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Donald Trump.

Members of PCCA's Government & Industry Affairs Committee heard Pai speak at an NTCA event last year and recognized him as a formidable ally for our association. "We were very impressed," said PCCA President Todd Myers. He's from rural Kansas, and we realized right away that he wasn't talking like many of the people we meet in D.C. He's a straight shooter, extremely knowledgeable, and a great supporter of rural broadband. PCCA looks forward to working with Commissioner Pai and his team to reform FCC funding programs to better deploy broadband through a stronger fiber network."

Upon being appointed, Pai said, "I am deeply grateful to the President of the United States for designating me the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. I look forward to working with the new administration, my colleagues at the commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans."

In his very first speech as chairman, Pai discussed the challenge of delivering broadband throughout the country. "One of the most significant things that I’ve seen during my time here is that there is a digital divide in this country--between those who can use from cutting-edge communications services and those who do not," he said. "I believe one of our core priorities going forward should be to close that divide--to do what’s necessary to help the private sector build networks, send signals, and distribute information to American consumers, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or anything else. We must work to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans."

Pai's bio on the FCC website describes his regulatory philosophy as follows: "Commissioner Pai’s regulatory philosophy is informed by a few simple principles. Rules that reflect these principles will result in more innovation, more investment, better products and services, lower prices, more job creation, and faster economic growth.

* Consumers benefit most from competition, not preemptive regulation. Free markets have delivered more value to American consumers than highly regulated ones.

* No regulatory system should indulge arbitrage; regulators should be skeptical of pleas to regulate rivals, dispense favors, or otherwise afford special treatment.

* Particularly given how rapidly the communications sector is changing, the FCC should do everything it can to ensure that its rules reflect the realities of the current marketplace and basic principles of economics.

* As a creature of Congress, the FCC must respect the law as set forth by the legislature.

* The FCC is at its best when it proceeds on the basis of consensus; good communications policy knows no partisan affiliation."

Pai, a Republican, was nominated to the FCC by former President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2012. Pai previously worked as a lawyer for Verizon Communications.

The son of immigrants from India, Pai grew up in Parsons, Kans. He now lives in Arlington, Va., with his wife and two children. When he addressed the FCC staff for the first time as commissioner, he discussed his background:

"Speaking of being blessed, I often marvel at how fortunate I have been. I think of my late grandparents in India. One of whom lost his father young and had to drop out of high school to work; another ran a small spare auto parts store. I think of my parents, who came to this country 45 years ago with literally no assets other than $10, a transistor radio, and a desire to achieve the American Dream. I think of all their sacrifices, all those risks they took, all those long hours they worked, all those moments when they must have worried about what the future would hold. None of them could ever have imagined that their grandson, their son would have the honor of being asked to lead by the President of the United States. I hope my tenure as Chairman will show me to be worthy of the sacrifices they’ve made for me and the lessons they’ve taught me. And I’m ever grateful that this wonderful country has given me and my family the opportunity to dream big.

"Thank you again for your support. Now, it’s time to get started! I’m excited to get to work alongside you on behalf of the American people."

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