Here’s Ajit Pai’s “proof” that killing net neutrality created more broadband

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Ajit Pai had a dilemma when overseeing the creation of the Federal Communications Commission's new Broadband Deployment Report. Anyone who is familiar with the FCC chairman's rhetoric over the past few years could make two safe predictions about this report. The report would conclude that broadband deployment in the US is going just fine and that the repeal of network neutrality rules is largely responsible for any new broadband deployment. But the FCC's actual data—based on the extensive Form 477 data submissions Internet service providers must make on a regular basis—only covers broadband deployments through December 2016. Chairman Pai wasn't elevated from commissioner to chairman until January 2017, and he didn't lead the vote to repeal the net neutrality rules until December 2017. And, technically, those rules are still on the books because the repeal won't take effect for at least another two months.

During the Obama presidency, the FCC regularly found that broadband deployment wasn't happening quickly enough. But in the first deployment report since Pai became chairman, the FCC "conclude[s] that advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion."

The current data on deployment hardly matters to the FCC's conclusion that broadband deployment is happening in a reasonable and timely fashion. The FCC's conclusion was based on the changes it expects in future data, not on any data that exists today. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn blasted the majority for "bas[ing] its finding of timely broadband deployment... on projected deployment based off a laundry list of actions the FCC took in 2017." "Critical progress reports should not rely on the 'hypothetical' when it comes to reaching a conclusion," Commissioner Clyburn said. "Indeed, the deployments the majority loudly touts pale greatly in comparison to the deployments that occurred in the year after the adoption of the 2015 Open Internet Order. But if you are desperate to justify flawed policy, I think the straw-grasping conclusions contained in this report [are] for you."


Here’s Ajit Pai’s “proof” that killing net neutrality created more broadband