FCC chair pulls out of Consumer Electronics Show appearance

FCC chair pulls out of Consumer Electronics Show appearance
© Greg Nash

Ajit Pai, the Republican chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is pulling out of his scheduled appearance at the popular Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a trade group that hosts the annual convention, did not give a reason for the cancellation. Pai, who is missing the show for the first time in five years, was slated to appear weeks after his agency scrapped the popular Obama-era net neutrality rules.

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

ADVERTISEMENT
Brian Hart, a spokesman for the FCC, told The Hill in an email, “We don’t have anything to share at this time.”

Last month, Pai pushed through a repeal of the FCC’s popular net neutrality regulations, which required internet service providers to give all web traffic equal footing. The move prompted widespread criticism from internet users, Democrats and the internet startup industry.

Pai argued that the rules were too heavy-handed and stifled the broadband industry. Pai was slated to appear alongside Shapiro and Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, for a discussion on tech policy on Monday.