Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mission Possible: Ajit Pai’s Stated Goal is to Kill Telecom Regulation


"We want to eliminate, as much as we can, government regulation of the telecommunications marketplace so as to permit present players to provide new and innovative services to consumers and likewise permit new players to come in and compete," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told an audience attending a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

He was quoting and affirming words first spoken by Reagan era FCC Chairman Mark Fowler. It was a core theme in Pai's speech, entitled "Morning in Digital America," and it signaled Pai and his Republican colleagues would do everything possible to inspire and affirm the country's largest telecom companies' investments that he felt would only grow with the obliteration of rules and regulations established by his predecessor during the Obama Administration.

Pai cited the wireless industry's transition to 5G service, quoting the CTIA — the wireless industry's top lobbying organization, as creating "three million jobs and over $500 billion in additional economic growth over seven years."

"The most powerful tool for expanding digital opportunity is market-based, light-touch regulation—for this maximizes private investment in high-speed networks," Pai predicted. "That's why we've sought to break down regulatory barriers to installing wireless and wireline infrastructure. Too often, government at all levels makes it hard for companies to construct next-generation networks. So we're focused on cutting as much of this red tape as we can."

Pai also claimed he restored the "collaborative and collegial traditions of the FCC."

"Under my leadership, about 80% of the major items voted on at our monthly meetings have been approved with bipartisan support and without dissent, compared to less than 50% under my predecessor," Pai claimed.

All but one of the current commissioners were in place during the second term of the Obama Administration, meaning under Pai's predecessor, it was Republican commissioners Pai and O'Rielly that dissented the most at the time.

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