FCC chairman Ajit Pai has announced that he’s leaving the commission as of January 20th, 2021, the same day that President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in. It’s not a major surprise, as such appointees often resign as a new administration takes over; former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler left his position when the Trump administration took over back in 2017.
Of course, Pai will always be remembered for his infamous decision to strip net neutrality protections that were put in place under the Obama presidency. The FCC voted along party lines in late 2017 to remove the “Title II” classification for broadband service, which then allowed internet service providers to practice blocking, throttling and paid prioritization as long as they disclosed those practices. It’s not clear yet who will take over at the FCC, but it’s entirely possible that a new chairperson under the Biden administration will work to bring back net neutrality protections. Whether or not those come from once again classifying broadband under Title II remains to be seen.