FCC Chairman Pai Remarks to Maine Policy Heritage Center

My mission and the Federal Communications Commission’s top priority is closing the digital divide and maximizing the benefits of broadband for the American people. The FCC is working to achieve that goal with the help of market principles. We want private companies to have the strongest possible business case for raising the capital and hiring the crews to build next-generation networks. Of course, it’s not enough to make sure that all Americans have high-speed Internet access. We also need to preserve the Internet itself as an open platform for innovation and free expression. [T]hose who demand greater government control of the Internet haven’t given up. Their latest tactic is pushing state governments to regulate the Internet. The most egregious example of this comes from CA. In Aug, the CA state legislature passed a radical, anti-consumer Internet regulation bill that would impose restrictions even more burdensome than those adopted by the FCC in 2015. In a way, I can understand how they succumbed to the temptation to regulate. After all, I suppose a broadband pipe might look to some like a plastic straw.  [O]nly the federal government can set regulatory policy in this area. For if individual states like California regulate the Internet, this will directly impact citizens in other states. Among other reasons, this is why efforts like California’s are illegal. 

My final message to you today is simple: stay engaged, never give up, and stay true to your beliefs. You are champions for free market principles in a politically divided state. You’ll win some battles, and you’ll lose some. I’ve been there, and I’ve done that. It won’t be easy, but the principles of free markets and free minds are worth fighting for. They have made us the most prosperous nation in human history and a beacon of hope to the world. They have always propelled America forward and they’ll continue to light the way. So, when the inevitable setbacks come. Don’t give up. Fight even harder.

FCC Chairman Pai Remarks to Maine Policy Heritage Center FCC chairman defends net neutrality repeal in Portland speech (Portland Press Herald) FCC Chief Calls Pending California Net-Neutrality Law ‘Illegal,’ Escalating Policy Clash (WSJ)