Title II rollback is no Pai in the sky, the wheels are in motion

Written by on May 8, 2017 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

Chairman Pai sets wheels in motion for Title II rollback.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has had a very busy first 100 days. He recently announcement that he will soon begin the process for the 2015 Title II rollback. The 2015 order exposed the Internet to a vast regime of regulations, was a welcome response to an all-too-typical exercise in regulatory overreach: Instead of addressing actual harms and real market failures, regulatory schemes are invented to prevent hypothetical harms that could happen, maybe, one day.

Chairman Pai released his plan for public comment on repealing the net neutrality rules, which reclassified internet service providers as common carriers (here) well ahead of the May 18 hearing and has committed to an open process.

Oracle takes a stance – in favor of Title II rollback

Oracle voiced support on Friday for the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s controversial Title II rollback plan. In a letter addressed to the FCC, the company played up its “perspective as a Silicon Valley technology company,” hammering the debate over the rules as a “highly political hyperbolic battle,” that is “removed from technical, economic, and consumer reality.”

“[T]he stifling open internet regulations and broadband classification that the FCC put in place in 2015 – for just one aspect of the internet ecosystem – threw out both the technological consensus and the certainty needed for jobs and investment,” Oracle wrote in their letter.

Other companies in support of Pai’s plan, like AT&T and Verizon, have made the argument that the rules stifled investment in the telecommunications sector, specifically in broadband infrastructure.

Pro-net neutrality advocacy groups like Free Press have rejected those claims, arguing that investment in broadband has grown since the net neutrality rules were implemented in 2015.

Oracle wrote in their letter that they believe Pai’s plan to remove broadband providers from the FCC’s regulatory jurisdiction “will eliminate unnecessary burdens on, and competitive imbalances for, ISPs [internet service providers] while enhancing the consumer experience and driving investment.”

Chairman Pai’s first 100 days

Few have acted as decisively as Ajit Pai, the Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Just last week Pai discussed his efforts to modernize the FCC’s rules and eliminate “unnecessary regulatory burdens.” This includes the relaxation of third-party fundraising restrictions to permit many noncommercial television and radio stations to air limited fundraisers for the benefit of other non-profit organizations; easing the reporting burden for volunteer board members of noncommercial broadcast stations; and the elimination of public correspondence file requirement for broadcasters.

Elevated by Trump to the role in January, the chief telecom regulator has worked to reduce his agency’s profile. He has proposed transferring some of the FCC’s authority over Internet providers to other regulators, for example, and has questioned the need for key policies enacted under the Obama administration.

Facing little-organized resistance, Pai is establishing himself as the vanguard for a wave of deregulation that could set the tone for the industry for years to come.

“When the facts warrant, we won’t hesitate to revise overly burdensome rules or repeal them altogether,” Pai vowed Friday in a speech about his first 100 days at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning think tank. “And you don’t need a weatherman to know that the wind is blowing certain FCC rules toward modification or elimination.”

Each month at the FCC’s public meetings, Pai has packed his colleagues’ schedule full of initiatives – ranging from relatively uncontroversial items, such as approving new broadcast television technologies, to pushing forward highly partisan proposals, including last week’s bid for  Title II rollback and undoing the controversial net neutrality rules. That draft proposal will be voted on during the agency’s next monthly meeting, on May 18, and could give Internet providers the freedom to slow websites, block online content or take payments from website owners to speed up those sites at the expense of others.

“By any objective measure, we’ve hit the ground running and have had very productive three-plus months at the Commission,” Pai said. “Just one data point:  In my first 100 days, the FCC adopted 49 items.  To put that number in perspective, during the prior two permanent Chairmen’s first 100 days, the Commission adopted 25 and 34 items.”

More on TheHill and TheLedger.

This article was first published on Pricing Data Plans.

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About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .


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