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Ajit Pai and the Revolving Door

Anousone Muongpack
FCC Chairman Genachowski swearing in Ajit Pai as the new Commissioner at the FCC headquarters in Washington, DC. May 14, 2012. [Federal Communications Commission Photo]

With the net neutrality vote looming (Dec. 14), people all over the country are scrambling to have their voices heard. The FCC has received over 21 million comments since they released their plan to scrap it.

For anyone unaware of what net neutrality is, let me lay it out there in simple terms. It requires your internet service provider to allow equal access to all websites. For example, without net neutrality, if your internet and cable are provided by Verizon, and they wanted to slow down a competitor’s site or block it all together, they could.

They could take this a step further and require you to buy packages or bundles with certain websites in them in order to access them. In essence, this is a money grab by the largest telecommunications companies in the United States.

But how did Ajit Pai get elected?

That’s the issue, he wasn’t. This position is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. After a recommendation from Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2012, the Senate unanimously confirmed Ajit Pai as the Chairman of the FCC.

What is the revolving door?

The revolving door is a phrase used to describe the move of a high ranking employee of a private company to a role in the government or vice versa.

Ajit Pai is a classic example of this; he served as a Associate General Counsel at Verizon Communications Inc. before being appointed to his current government position.

The issue becomes blatantly obvious at this point. Why should someone who has ties to a company and a clear interest in deregulating the entire industry be appointed to such a powerful and influential role in the government?

There’s no turning back at this point. All we can do is hope that Americans are loud enough for the FCC and Congress to hear.

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About the Contributor
Austin Stadie
Austin Stadie, business manager

Austin Stadie is a second year staff writer and the business manager of The Voice. His interests include politics, sports, and music, all of which he writes about frequently.

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