FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has decided to hold a public auction of C-Band spectrum. That is the midband spectrum the FCC wants to free up for 5G, and that is the proposal that the chairman signaled Monday he would be asking the other commissioners to vote to approve in an order early next year.
The FCC’s repack of 1,000 TV stations into smaller spectrum quarters is almost two-thirds of the way to completion, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told a Senate oversight hearing audience Thursday (Oct. 17), and has proven to be a smooth transition.
In what could signal a big change in regulatory approach, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has plans a vote on an item that would set the precedent that streaming services qualify as “effective competition” to MVPDs sufficient to trigger basic rate deregulation of those MVPDs.
The FCC dismissed Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) criticism of the agency’s chairman as “hot air,” after the Democratic presidential candidate accused him of advancing the interests of the telecom industry. The pushback comes in response to an op-ed the senator published in The Washington Post on Tuesday arguing for renewed federal efforts to expand internet access to areas that lack it.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai suggested this week that the FCC is awaiting consensus among broadcasters and Microsoft before moving ahead with a proposal on freeing up the “white spaces” between and around post-incentive auction repacked TV channels for wireless broadband. That came in an FCC oversight hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee, where he said he hoped to bring the new white spaces regime to reality soon.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday delayed plans to begin in June a comprehensive review of a valuable band of spectrum reserved for vehicles to communicate with one another. The delay complied with a request from U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for more time before the commission takes up the 5.9 GHz matter.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai put in a plug Wednesday for giving the FCC some fast track broadcast deregulatory authority. In a House Communications Subcommittee FCC oversight hearing, Pai said that the disconnect between a moving marketplace and the “stasis” of FCC rules was the fundamental issue the FCC had with its media ownership rules.
The Nexstar CEO says while the FCC’s ownership coverage cap is effectively at 78% now, broadcasters would like the Pai FCC to lock it in at that level so that some future FCC with a Democratic majority cannot easily reset it at 39% by once again repealing the UHF discount.
The FCC chairman tells the NAB Show that when it comes to the commission’s review, “we will not be deterred by those whose regulatory views are not guided by facts and reasons, but instead were set in stone in the era of Laverne & Shirley, Starsky & Hutch and The Captain and Tennille.”
FCC chief Ajit Pai should finish what he started on local TV ownership reform by approving the precedent-setting station sale in Sioux Fall, S.D. Action is long overdue.
The chairman and commissioners will appear at two different sessions at next month’s Las Vegas gathering.
Chairman Ajit Pai reflects on an impactful — and contentious — two years at the helm of the FCC.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signaled Friday that the FCC is preparing to start accepting next-gen TV (ATSC 3.0) license applications and that the Media Bureau is even now working on an order to wrap up some open issues, including the local simulcasting requirement for stations without a viable partner, and a second order to resolve various petitions for reconsideration (filed by cable operators).
For the second year in a row, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has pulled out of his appearance at the Consumer Technology Association’s CES in Las Vegas next week. Pai was to have been interviewed in a “Fireside Chat” with CES President Gary Shapiro, which has become something of a tradition. But Pai’s office said the government shutdown — and uncertainty about how long it would last — precipitated the decision.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is acknowledging that Russia-linked email addresses weighed in during the public comment process ahead of the FCC’s net neutrality repeal last year. Pai wrote in a court filing this week that it is a “fact” that a half-million comments were submitted from Russian email addresses during the public comment period, adding that most of those comments were in favor of net neutrality.
The FCC’s internal watchdog found no evidence of a “concealment or cover-up” by Chairman Ajit Pai on interactions with the White House related to the failed Sinclair-Tribune merger.
As expected, the FCC on Dec. 12 will officially launch its latest congressionally mandated “Quadrennial” review of broadcast ownership rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did the unveiling Tuesday in his monthly blog post on the items the FCC plans to vote on at its next public meeting, which he does when the tentative agenda is released 21 days before the meeting.
FCC chair Ajit Pai says he has every intention of staying atop the FCC at least through the end of the president’s first term. That came in a press conference following the FCC’s monthly meeting Thursday.
Politico Pro is reporting that President Trump on Tuesday needled FCC Chairman Ajit Pai over “one decision” he didn’t like, an apparent reference to Pai’s move to doom the Sinclair-Tribune merger. Trump made the comment during a White House Diwali ceremony as he introduced Pai and turned to shake his hand. “I just didn’t like one decision he made, but that’s alright,” Trump said to laughs. “Not even a little bit. But he’s independent.” Politico Pro subscribers can read the full story here.
Pai is a classic free-market deregulator. The fewer rules governing business the better he likes it. That’s why it makes some sense that he will do nothing regarding proposals to raise the FCC’s station ownership cap. Why should he? The cap is plenty high now and any change is almost certain to end up challenged in court. Doing nothing also avoids any political blowback in Washington.
A spokesman for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says that the chairman, who took over the post in January 2017, “plans to lead the FCC for the foreseeable future.” Pai — a Republican appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2012, then named chair by President Donald Trump — was asked after the FCC’s Oct. 23 public meeting whether he planned to remain in that post if the Democrats took over the House in the midterm elections, as many are predicting.
Dielectric, a manufacturer of TV and FM broadcast antenna systems, recently welcomed Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC, to its repack antenna facility in Lewiston, Maine. Chairman Pai was greeted by Andy Whiteside, president, and Keith Pelletier, VP and general manager with a brief discussion of Dielectric’s 75-year history. The chairman than met with key Dielectric executives, followed by a guided tour of the facility and […]
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is calling for greater oversight of major technology companies as Congress prepares to grill executives from Facebook and Twitter this week. Pai said in blog post published Tuesday that he’s concerned about how much power the internet platform companies wield, combined with allegations that the industry is biased against conservatives.
The FCC’s attorney general, its internal watchdog, cleared the agency’s Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, of showing any favoritism toward Sinclair Broadcasting Group in the review of its now-abandoned merger plans.
Ranking Energy & Commerce Committee member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) has asked FCC Inspector General David Hunt to investigate what he said was FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s failure to disclose a conversation he had with White House General Counsel Don McGahn about the Sinclair-Tribune merger, suggesting it could have been a “coverup.” An FCC spokesperson says partisan Democrats are trying to beat a dead horse.
Ajit Pai says he doubted claims the FCC’s comment system had been taken down by a cyberattack, but was asked to keep quiet until a full report was made public.
Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) has signaled he will use some of his time questioning FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at a Thursday FCC oversight hearing to make sure he has journalists’ backs. That is the same day journalist organizations are getting together to push back on President Donald Trump’s attacks on mainstream media as fake news outlets in league with his Democrat opponents to undermine his presidency and policies.
Democratic lawmakers are putting heat on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai over a recent inspector general report that found the agency falsely claimed it had suffered a cyberattack that briefly took down its electronic comment system amid the backlash over its repeal of net neutrality.
Donald Trump has not contacted the FCC about its lack of approval for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed deal to buy Tribune Media, which Trump has called “disgraceful” on Twitter, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says.
With his tweet voicing support for Sinclair, says former Democratic FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, President Trump attempt to influence the FCC’s handling of the Sinclair-Tribune merger moves from “a thumb on the scale to a chain-mailed fist.”
The imminent collapse of Sinclair’s merger makes the combative station group one of the all-time losers in FCC regulatory history, but they’re not the only ones who’ve lost. Here are some of the other losers caught up in this week’s train wreck along with some of the winners. At the top of the latter group is FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has clearly signaled that he is no pushover.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed moving oversight of its Equal Employment Opportunity rules from the Media Bureau to the Enforcement Bureau. That came on what Pai identified as the 50th anniversary of the FCC’s commitment to make sure the national policy against discrimination applied to broadcast licenses as well.
A dozen senators called on the FCC to investigate Sinclair Broadcast Group for distorting the news, and to pause its review of the pending acquisition of Tribune Media. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai immediately shot down the request, saying it would conflict with his commitment to the First Amendment and freedom of the press.
The FCC chairman says his approach to broadcast regulations is “You either believe in scrapping outdated regulations or you don’t. We do.” And he thanks broadcasters for their support, especially during the controversy over net neutrality which resulted in death threats.
The FCC has refused a Freedom of Information request for the emails planning a net neutrality video that features Ajit Pai dancing with a lightsaber.
Free Press and other groups challenge what they call the FCC’s dramatic reversal of media-ownership limits that pave way for media mergers, including Sinclair-Tribune.
Sinclair’s behavior in trying to merge with Tribune is doing it — and the entire broadcasting industry — no favors. By dragging out this process, and by pressing for every advantage, Sinclair is making life difficult for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has been broadcasters’ best friend in that job in decades.