Portland Press Herald
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai will deliver the keynote address for the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative research organization, at a fundraising luncheon in September. The center noted Chairman Pai's controversial role in ending the FCC’s net neutrality regulations and touted his efforts to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse in federal programs. Chairman Pai will attend the center’s 2018 Freedom & Opportunity Luncheon. “The FCC Chairman’s regulatory philosophy is informed by a few simple principles, competition paramount among them,” the center stated.
In 2017, a legislative panel unanimously rejected a bill drafted by a secretive group that would have made it nearly impossible for communities to build their own high-speed internet networks, even when cable and telephone companies declined to do so. Now, Rep Chellie Pingree (D-ME) is co-sponsoring legislation in Congress that aims to make sure there isn’t a repeat of the measure and to overturn laws passed in recent years in 17 other states.
The Maine Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint Jan 23 accusing the state’s Republican Party of working hand-in-hand to spread bogus claims through a secretive website masquerading as a news organization. Democrats asked Maine’s ethics commission to investigate possible campaign finance violations by the Maine Examiner and Maine’s Republican Party in their publication of “fake news stories” about Lewiston (ME) mayoral candidate Ben Chin before December’s runoff election. “To put it plainly, this is the worst of politics: pushing misleading or outright false claims while hiding behind t
If Internet service providers are allowed to speed up, slow down or block various Web-based services to serve their own interests, it will have a chilling effect on innovation, investment and startup activity in Maine and elsewhere, said a panel of experts including Sen Angus King (I-ME) who spoke in Portland.
The issue of equal treatment by Internet providers such as cable companies is known as “net neutrality.” It has become a topic of heated debate in recent months because the Federal Communications Commission is considering rule changes that would let Internet providers create a tiered environment in which web-based companies could pay a premium to obtain a speed advantage over their competitors.
Dispensing with net neutrality could result in the “creation of fast and slow lanes on the Internet,” said panelist Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, and an advocate for media and Internet freedom. That would hurt small startups and give cable companies an unfair competitive advantage over content providers that do not own their own delivery infrastructure, he said. A tiered system in which companies pay extra to have their content delivered more quickly to consumers would create strong financial incentives for Internet providers to constrict speeds for those unwilling or unable to pay for preferential treatment, said Aaron.