FCC Chairman Pai defends his attack on net neutrality by substituting ideology for history

The world of the internet, as seen by Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai, is a simple one. Regulation is bad, deregulation is good. Conservatives are victims, and liberals reign supreme. And history doesn’t matter. In defending his campaign to repeal FCC regulations governing network neutrality, Pai got the history of regulation and the history of internet technology wrong, repeated his cherry-picked version of internet economics, and took irrelevant potshots at some of his critics in the information industry. He tried to portray his proposal as one that will unleash the wonders of free-market economics to foster more web innovation, but his concerns are plainly ideological.

Pai may be right in stating that protecting “internet freedom” requires a new look at regulation. But if he really believed that, he wouldn’t have to surround his policy proposals with a bodyguard of misrepresentations. Nor would he have to distract the public with entirely irrelevant and plainly ideological complaints about “discrimination” by content providers. And distraction is what Nov 28’s speech was all about. Pai is asking the FCC to vote on Dec. 14 on a policy that will get the government off the back of the internet so that big business can saddle up. He claims this is in the public interest, but it’s not; it’s in the interest of big ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, and we’d like to know where in the FCC’s enabling legislation it says that their fortunes should be its concern.


FCC Chairman Pai defends his attack on net neutrality by substituting ideology for history