Dear State and Local Gov: FCC Chair Ajit Pai Is Just Not That Into You

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 If Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was trying to signal the dismissal of the role of state and local governments in broadband and other key telecommunications issues, the past few months couldn’t have been a clearer indication. Since November, Chairman Pai has attracted concerned letters from members of Congress, major national organizations representing local governments and members of internal advisory committees. In interviews with state and local government officials, FCC advisory committee members and outside stakeholders, sources have described an FCC which is focused on industry’s demands of state and local government over an intergovernmental partnership. That was on display as the Federal Communications Committee’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee—whose members are primarily private sector telecommunications leaders—sat down to discuss a range or proposals it has been drafting. The committee, referred to as the BDAC (pronounced Bee-DACK) in FCC-speak, discussed wide-ranging draft policy guidance for statesand municipalities. On page 50 of the state model code was a recommendation to push local governments to de-prioritize publicly funded municipal broadband. There were also working group recommendations on “removing state and local regulatory barriers” that focused on all the ways state and local governments were believed to be holding back innovation. The group also debated when and how the FCC should preempt state and local authorities on telecommunications concerns, with one participants stating that while they couldn’t agree on preemption language yet, ultimately, it will be in there.


Dear State and Local Gov: FCC Chair Ajit Pai Is Just Not That Into You