Blame It On The Barcelona (Or Alternative Titles To Celebrate Alternative Facts)

[Commentary] Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai delivered his first major address on the global stage at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Chairman Pai outlined a policy agenda aimed at bringing faster and cheaper broadband to all Americans: promoting infrastructure investment, fostering innovation, and expanding next-generation networks. The key ingredient, from Pai’s perspective, is a light-touch regulatory approach. The rhetoric around net neutrality often muddies the issue. An example can be found in Pai’s speech. He said, “Going forward, the FCC will not focus on denying Americans free data or issuing heavy-handed decrees inspired by the distant past. Instead, we will seek to advance the networks of the future and the innovative new products and services that take advantage of those networks. And as we do so, we will preserve a free and open Internet.” This raises questions: Can Pai be logically consistent by supporting a “free and open Internet” while scaling back the legal, Title II protections and enabling paid prioritization by ISPs? What do he mean by “free and open Internet”? How does he plan on enforcing net neutrality rules ? Since Pai supports sponsored data programs, does he also support Comcast throttling home connections? Or charging edge providers premium prices for an Internet fast lane?


Blame It On The Barcelona (Or Alternative Titles To Celebrate Alternative Facts)