By Joan McCarter
Wednesday Mar 01, 2017 · 4:06 PM EST
The new dystopian world order envisioned by popular vote loser Donald Trump and his Republican supporters requires an ill-informed populace, without the tools to effectively communicate and organize in resistance. And that's what new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai promises to deliver. No more open internet, he's declared, calling net neutrality a mistake.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Pai said that it has become “evident that the FCC made a mistake” in its passage of net neutrality rules in 2015, in which the agency reclassified internet service as a common carrier. Pai, along with other critics of the move, consider the approach “last-century, utility-style regulation to today’s broadband networks.”
“Our new approach injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market. And uncertainty is the enemy of growth,” Pai said at the event. “After the FCC embraced utility-style regulation, the United States experienced the first-ever decline in broadband investment outside of a recession.”
He said that the agency was now “on track” to return to what he called “light touch” regulation.
But it's not going to down easily. One ally in the fight is the biggest convert we made in the fight for the open internet: Tom Wheeler. The just-retired FCC Chairman was at the same Barcelona conference, and he vowed to say in the fight telling Bloomberg news "it is highly dangerous to let four companies, which is basically what we have in the United States, four internet service providers, to determine who will be able to get on their networks. […] We can’t be in a situation where someone who owns the pipes determines what is going on, what’s going over those pipes." Spoken like a true open internet warrior.
Congressional Democrats, particularly in the Senate, will fight any legislative efforts, so whatever happens in the next few years to undermine the net neutrality we fought so hard to achieve will happen at the FCC. We turned Wheeler around, and we will pummel Pai relentlessly until the open internet is secured.