FCC Chairman Pai reflects on an impactful — and contentious — two years at the helm

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A Q&A with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.

When asked, "What oversight of broadband does the FCC have after the Restoring Internet Freedom order? Your critics have used terms like 'abdication' to describe the FCC and net neutrality," Chairman Pai said, "We maintain oversight both through our transparency rule, which requires broadband providers to disclose various business practices, network-management practices and the like on their websites or the FCC’s website. We also require them to submit all kinds of forms — form 477, for example, detailing how they are deploying broadband — so we can measure how it is or is not progressing. The notion that we have abdicated our responsibility in this area [broadband] is completely false, but it is par for the course for those for whom political motivations more than policy considerations have long been the primary draw."

When asked, "Coming up on the midpoint of your chairmanship, what do you view as your major accomplishments?" Chairman Pai said, "It has been an exciting two years. We’ve had a pretty aggressive agenda on some of our core priorities — closing the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and modernizing our regulations. Particularly on that first point, closing the digital divide, I have been proud of the accomplishments we have been able to achieve, including a successful Connect America Fund auction in which we are allocating approximately $1.5 billion for rural broadband across 45 states. We are also making sure we are updating our regulations to make 4G LTE more available in parts of the country that don’t enjoy it today. We have much more to do in the next two years but I am really grateful to the terrific FCC staff for the work that they have done to enable us to advance the ball on behalf of the public."

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