Ajit Pai Video
Ajit Pai is skipping CES 2018. No reason was given for the unexpected decision for the FCC Chair, who was slated to speak next week in Las Vegas. Daily Caller/YouTube

Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai has been a staple at CES for the past five years, speaking a forums about broadband policy, the spectrum auction and other regulatory matters. However, just one week prior to being at CES 2018 Pai has bailed from his speaking sessions.

"Unfortunately, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is unable to attend CES 2018. We look forward to our next opportunity to host a technology policy discussion with him before a public audience,” the conference said in a statement Wednesday.

Pai, acting Federal Trade Commission Chair Maureen Ohlhausen and CES President & CEO Gary Shapiro were scheduled to talk at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in a session titled "Insights from the FCC and FTC"

The session was designed to be about “two candid conversations about the challenges they face as their agencies navigate the constantly evolving technological landscape.”

CES’ statement didn’t touch on the reason for Pai’s sudden departure from the event. The FCC Chair has received an enormous amount of criticism in recent weeks following the controversial net neutrality vote. Pai’s net neutrality repeal, according to a report this week, is still being edited despite being approved last month. Pai and the FCC voted 3-2 on Dec. 14, 2017 to repeal net neutrality rules.

Prior the vote the Trump-appointed chairman also received heat for a not-so-funny video making funny of people worrying about the effects of a net neutrality. On top of its tone deaf message to those concerned with the consequences of repealing net neutrality, it was revealed that one of the people in the video with Pai was a believer in the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

For the previous five years Pai, and other FCC and FTC members, have spoken at the event. Usually there is an FCC only forum and then another with a combination of the two commissions.

CES originally announced Pai’s attendance for CES in November 2017.

“We are excited to have FCC Chairman Pai kick off the new year by sharing his regulatory agenda for 2018,” Shapiro in a statement. “This is an excellent opportunity for CES attendees to hear about the challenging issues the FCC is tackling, including the allocation of additional spectrum licensed and unlicensed bands to power consumers' growing demand for anytime/anywhere connectivity and expanding broadband access and digital opportunity to all Americans.”

Update: According to a new report from Recode, the reason for Pai skipping his scheduled CES 2018 appearance is due to multiple death threats. The FCC and Pai did not comment on his decision.

This isn't the first time Pai and the FCC has been the target of threats following the net neutrality vote. Briefly the net neutrality vote was stalled so security could clear the room because of a threat. This came after the hacking activist group Anonymous threatened the FCC with a cyber attack in the lead up to its net neutrality decision.