Ajit Pai Won't Have the Last Word on Net Neutrality

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[Commentary] Congress doesn’t need to legislate on Net Neutrality. What it needs to do is rein in Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and the Trump FCC and get them to enforce the laws and rules already on the books. Of course, I’m not so naive to think that Pai isn’t going to go forward with a vote to take away Title II and probably erase the rules altogether as soon as December. But that won’t be the last word. Given the arbitrary and capricious way the agency has proceeded, I like our chances in court. We also know that as soon as the FCC votes, all the ISPs are going to run to the Hill and offer some legislation that’s 5 percent less awful than whatever Pai does. They’ll try to convince the big-platform companies to go along and join in a regulation-killing race to the bottom. The whole ISP strategy is basically cribbed from Darth Vader: “Come to the dark side … join me, together we can rule the galaxy.” But the mistake they’ll make — the one they keep making — is assuming eight companies can get in a room to “work it out.” Those backroom deals are fuel for a new anti-monopoly movement. Net Neutrality has always been pushed from the outside in and the bottom up — and nobody is going to hate their cable company any less because they’re worried about Google and Facebook. They can do both. [Craig Aaron is the President and CEO of Free Press]


Ajit Pai Won't Have the Last Word on Net Neutrality