Bye-bye net neutrality

The new FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Chairman, Ajit Pai has, until recently, been mostly quiet since being appointed by the new president. However, last week he gave a couple of television interviews on CNBC and Fox Business and he spoke this week at Mobile World Congress in Spain.

It’s clear that the new FCC chair favors what he calls “light touch regulation” and has made the reversal of net neutrality a major priority. During his speech in Spain he highlighted his decision to work to deregulate the internet, noting that the continued growth of online business has “enabled the democratization of the internet.” He also spoke a good deal about 5G and how it had the power to transform wireless but would require a good deal of infrastructure which, in Pai’s view, would only be hindered by net neutrality regulation.

Pai is definitely a business-first chairman and is expected to look for many other areas, outside of net neutrality, where he can cut existing regulations.

His stance on net neutrality has, arguably, garnered the most attraction from those on the other side of the argument. Notably, Senator Al Franken wrote Chairman Pai in January about net neutrality and its potential reversal, arguing it would diminish American’s access to varied information sources.

The TransNexus blog has written a few times on Pai regarding VoIP fraud and some of the regulation needed to ensure telecom companies effectively tackle the growing problem for consumers. It will be interesting to watch over the next few years what he will do in that arena as well as net neutrality.