Friday, June 19, 2015

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Warns of Overreaching Regulations

Ajit Pai, a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), opposes the federal government’s expanding control of the internet such as the regulation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Pai agrees that ISPs are “information services” providers and should not be subject to federal regulation unlike public utilities.

While the FCC is expected to vote on a ruling related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TPCA), Pai called for the FCC to make clarifications to the TPCA in an op-ed published in Politico. Pai wrote:

Congress enacted the TCPA in order to crack down on intrusive telemarketers and over-the-phone scam artists…But trial lawyers have twisted the law’s words to target useful communications between legitimate businesses and their customers. And thanks to the $500 penalty, the TCPA has become their ATM.

Pai exposed President Obama’s influence of policy at the FCC while the FCC is supposed to be an independent agency. Pai highlights that:

the agency suddenly chang[ed] course from where it was to mimic the president’s plan…[and] suggests that the independence of the agency has been compromised to some extent.

Unfortunately, the consequences of the FCC’s regulation will include taxes on broadband bills, reduced competition, and smaller Internet service providers may find it difficult to stay in business. Pai also declares that Net Neutrality is "a solution that won't work to a problem that doesn't exist." When FCC regulations mean higher prices and less online innovation, Pai also notes:

[T]he federal government is a pretty poor arbiter of what is reasonable and what is not, and it's exceptionally poor when it comes to having a track record of promoting innovation and investment in broadband networks. That's something the private sector has done a remarkable job of on its own.

Although FCC’s new regulations passed with a 3-2 vote, Pai continues to warn the public about the impact of President Obama and FCC Chair, Tom Wheeler’s plans.

Join fellow the RNLA members on a Conference Call Featuring FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on June 14, 2015 at 11:30 am. To RSVP to participate in the call and to submit questions, click here.

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