10 Sep 2019
The University of Nebraska will host Chairman Ajit Pai, head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday, September 18.
The FCC works on issues ranging from closing the digital divide and facilitating the development of cutting edge communications technologies, to ensuring that telephone and television networks are accessible to all Americans and support public safety uses, and on high profile issues like network neutrality and the deployment of satellite-based Internet services. The visit is hosted by the Nebraska Law Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program and its Co-Director, Professor Gus Hurwitz.
The day-long visit will begin off campus at a precision agriculture farm; a visit coordinated by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska. The Chairman will visit Steve Althouse Farms, just outside of Waverly, for a discussion of dryland farming operations, the precision technology used for planting and harvesting, and the data collected. Giltner, Nebraska farmer, Brandon Hunnicut, will also join the visit to provide some perspective about rural connectivity and the use of precision technology in an irrigated system.
Afterward, the Chairman will join students and community members for three unique sessions throughout the day. At a lunch for Law, Business, Engineering, and Journalism students, he will discuss the FCC's work as well as the world of federal policy more generally. Following lunch, the Chairman will join a roundtable discussion about federal communications policy with interested members of the Nebraska community.
The visit will conclude with a public "Fireside Chat" at the Nebraska Union at 3:30. The event will begin with a discussion between Chairman Pai and College of Law Professor Gus Hurwitz, before opening to questions from and discussion with the audience. This event is open to all UNL students as well as the broader University and Lincoln community. Space for this event is limited. Pre-registration is required and will be open until full.
Chairman Pai has led the FCC since 2017, and previously served as a Commissioner for the FCC since 2012. In these capacities, he has helped to shape all aspects of federal communications policies, from efforts to shrink the digital divide, to fostering deployment of next generation wireless technologies, fighting robocalls, freeing spectrum to support next-generation technologies such as precision agriculture and satellite-based Internet access, modernizing media ownership rules, updating public safety technologies (e.g., to allow you to text to 911, and for 911 operators to access location information) -- and, yes, net neutrality. The son of immigrants from India, Chairman Pai grew up in Parsons, Kansas. He graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1994 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1997.
Questions should be directed to Elsbeth Magilton, Executive Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program, Elsbeth@unl.edu.