FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
Two of the Federal Communications Commission’s top priorities are closing the digital divide in rural America and advancing United States leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity. The commitments made today by T-Mobile and Sprint would substantially advance each of these critical objectives.
Based on a thorough review of the record, I have serious concerns about the Sinclair/Tribune transaction. The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law. When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction. Instead, the law requires the FCC to designate the transaction for a hearing in order to get to the bottom of those disputed issues.
Chairman Pai: "The report maintains the same benchmark speed for fixed broadband service previously adopted by the Commission, which we earlier proposed to retain: 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload. The report also concludes that mobile broadband service is not a full substitute for fixed service. Instead, it notes there are differences between the two technologies, including clear variations in consumer preferences and demands.
Much has been said and written over the course of the last week about the plan to restore Internet freedom. But much of the discussion has brought more heat than light. I’d like to cut through the hysteria and hot air and speak with you in plain terms about the plan. First, I’ll explain what it will do. Second, I’ll discuss why I’m advancing it. And third, I’ll respond to the main criticisms that have been leveled against it.
Rounding out our December meeting will be two matters that were previewed yesterday.
First, the Federal Communications Commission will consider an order that would restore Internet freedom and return to the bipartisan, light-touch framework that helped America's Internet economy become the envy of the world. And unlike the previous Administration, which pushed through its Internet regulations without letting the public see what was being proposed, anyone can read my plan. It's on the Commission's website —more than three weeks before our scheduled vote.
Chairman Pai Circulates Draft Order To Restore Internet Freedom And Eliminate Heavy-Handed Internet Regulations
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released the following statement on his draft Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which was circulated to his fellow Commissioners Nov 21 and will be voted on at the FCC’s Open Meeting on December 14:
[Commentary] For over four decades, the Federal Communications Commission has restricted the ability of broadcast media outlets to also own newspapers, and vice versa, in the same market, under what is known as the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule. This rule was established in 1975 with the stated purpose of preserving and promoting a diversity of viewpoints. Arguably, it made sense at the time. But with the internet now dominating the news landscape, the rule is no longer needed, and may actually be undermining the diversity of viewpoints it was intended to foster.
One message that is understood in all languages around the globe is that communications technology can improve people’s lives and grow our economies. Increasingly, the technology that people think can drive transformative change is 5G. Soon, these next-generation wireless networks will affect almost every aspect of our society and economy—from businesses to homes, hospitals to transportation networks, manufacturing to the power grid.
While selecting me as 2020’s recipient of the Savas Award could fairly be called into question, your timing of this celebration could not be more perfect.
National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said the “number one concern” for democracy at home and abroad is the integrity of our communications networks. In particular, he warned that installing equipment from Chinese firms in the backbone of our 5G networks could give the Communist Chinese government “backdoors to pull up every bit of data in the world.” I agree wholeheartedly.