By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 2-28-17
FCC chairman Ajit Pai told a Mobile World Congress audience in Barcelona Tuesday that Title II reclassification was a mistake made under the previous generation that he expects to be corrected in this one.
He signaled to the international audience that the FCC would not be a zero reg zone but a light-touch reg zone where pro-competition policies were promoted, barriers lifted, and investments made in deploying broadband.
According to a copy of his speech, Pai told his audience that in the 1990s, policymakers had forged a “historic consensus” that the internet should be free of heavy handed regulation, which is what spurred innovation, the kind of environment that would be needed to spur 5G in the coming years.
But he said that two years ago – two years ago this week, in fact – the nation “deviated from our successful, light-touch approach,” deciding instead to “apply last-century, utility-style regulation to today’s broadband networks.”
That was the reclassification of ISPs as common carriers.
He said that was not done to solve any problems in the face of a “digital dystopia.” Instead, he said, that previous light-touch approach “had produced both a free and open internet and strong incentives for private investment in broadband infrastructure.”
Pai said that Title II move was clearly a mistake, injecting uncertainty into the market, which he called the enemy of growth. » Read More