Tags: ajit pai | fcc | net neutrality

FCC Chair: Ending Net Neutrality Means Restoring 'Free and Open' Internet

Image: FCC Chair: Ending Net Neutrality Means Restoring 'Free and Open' Internet
FCC Chair Ajit Pai (AP)

By    |   Friday, 15 December 2017 09:36 AM

Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai Friday defended the vote to end net neutrality, saying critics are getting "everything wrong" about the decision when they say it will ruin the internet.

"The free and open internet we had prior to 2015 is the one we're going to have moving forward," said Pai on Fox News' "Fox & Friends," while responding to complaints late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel voiced Thursday night on his program.

"We have a free and open internet moving forward and the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission going forward are going to make sure that happens."

On his show Thursday, Kimmel called Pai a "jackhole" over the move to end net neutrality and allow "big corporations" to take "full control of the internet."

Pai said such names are "unbecoming of the seriousness of this debate," while not surprising.

"Those on the other side have literally nothing other to peddle than hysteria, misinformation, and fear than the light-touch approach that we would have for the internet's existence, said Pai.

Thursday's vote, he continued, means the end of the government's micromanagement of the internet.

"For 20 years before 2015, starting with President Bill Clinton, we decided we wanted to have a free-market approach, in which innovators could innovate and consumers could benefit, and the results speak for themselves," Pai said.

"Companies like Facebook and Amazon and Netflix and Google became global giants precisely because the government wasn't involved. That is the light-touch framework to which we are returning."

"Hysteria" over the move is "misplaced," said Pai, because moving forward, getting the regulatory system right means better, faster, and cheaper internet access for all Americans.

He also noted that lack of competition for internet providers is an issue, leaving many parts of the country with only one choice for service.

"The solution is more competition, not heavier government regulation that makes it harder," said Pai. Further, the FCC and FTC will continue "to be cops," to be sure the competition does not go away.

He also said there is a "lot of misinformation" about whether ending net neutrality will slow down the internet.

"Think about how far we have come, the starting years until these rules were adopted in 2015," Pai said. "We went from 28k modems to gigabit fiber. So going forward, the internet is going to speed up, we're going to see better and faster and cheaper services all across the board, and that's exactly what these rules, which were after all the Clinton-era rules that served us so well are calibrated to do."

He also said he believes if Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election and net neutrality continued, the internet would have been even more heavily regulated.

"They would have banned, for example, free data offerings by wireless companies where the wireless company will say you can stream data, your music, video and the like exempt from any data limits," said Pai.

"They would have banned that and probably got into price regulation, which is essentially the government deciding how these businesses are going to operate. So there's no telling how far they would have gone. It would have been limited only by their own imagination."

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Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai Friday defended the vote to end net neutrality, saying critics are getting "everything wrong" about the decision when they say it will ruin the internet.
ajit pai, fcc, net neutrality
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2017-36-15
Friday, 15 December 2017 09:36 AM
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