Sen. Wicker Praises Pai

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) took to the Senate floor Thursday (Sept. 28) in support of the nomination of FCC chair Ajit Pai.

That followed a number of Democrats over the past two days who have taken the opposite tack in floor speeches, including Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Ed Markey, who called the Pai FCC the "Forgetting Consumers and Competition" agency.

Wicker said that in nine short months, Pai had taken steps to keep the internet free and open for consumers, and would keep the "heavy hand of government away from the controls."

Wicker said he is working with Pai to help promote rural connectivity and that the FCC would be in good hands with Pai as its chairman.

Related: Sen. Wicker Backs Trump's Rural Broadband Support

"Mr. Pai has proven he is capable of being an exemplary FCC chairman," said Wicker. "He understands the strong connection between technology and innovation."

Wicker also said he hoped Pai would continue to hold the FCC to the highest standards of transparency, citing his decision to publish the draft texts of items before they were voted on.

Related: Gigi Sohn Says Pai Should Be Fired

The Senate will vote later today on closing debate on Pai's nomination, and subsequently on the nomination itself either today or Monday (Oct. 2).

Senate Republicans were said to have wanted to confirm Pai to a new, five-year term, before the Columbus Day (Oct. 9) break.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.