'Net neutrality' foe Ajit Pai is new FCC head

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FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2013, file photo, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai presents his dissent during a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hearing at the FCC in Washington. President Donald Trump has picked Pai, a fierce critic of the Obama-era "net ... neutrality" rules, to be chief regulator of the nation's airwaves and internet connections. In a statement Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, Pai said he was grateful to the president for his new role as the next chairman of the FCC. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (The Associated Press)

President Donald Trump has picked a fierce critic of the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules to be chief regulator of the nation's airwaves and internet connections.

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In a statement Monday, Ajit Pai said he was grateful to the president for his new role as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Pai had been one of the two Republican commissioners on a five-member panel that regulates the country's communications infrastructure, including TV, phone and internet service.

There are currently just three members on the panel. The Republicans' new majority is expected to help them roll back pro-consumer policies that upset many phone and cable industry groups, including net neutrality rules that bar internet service providers from favoring some websites and apps over others.