Looks like FCC chairman Ajit Pai is killin’ it in 2018!
(Source: a just-released report from the FCC).
Despite fomenting an all-out civil war among the U.S. States over net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is already patting itself on the back on a job well done.
In a self-congratulatory self-assessment that seems oddly devoid self-awareness, the U.S. Government agency applauded remarkable gains across numerous areas. That includes broadband deployment, accessibility to digital infrastructure, reducing bureaucracy and cutting costs, protecting consumers, and increasing overall transparency.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai played hero in the agency-commissioned report card. Pai’s agency has aggressively argued that dismantling net neutrality provisions has already boosted broadband deployment and internet infrastructure investment. That assertion is almost impossible to validate with data, and opponents have pointed to infrastructure improvements under net neutrality.
Actually, one the people arguing that is Mignon Clyburn, from the FCC itself.
Meanwhile, the FCC faces nearly two dozen lawsuits relate to net neutrality from state attorneys general, 4 executive orders from U.S. state governors mandating net neutrality, and two major bills protecting net neutrality in California and Washington.
The report is largely a list accomplishments by the FCC, peppered with self-congratulatory comments by Chairman Ajit Pai.
We’re not sure who else received a copy this PDF ‘report card’. Though we’ve included it below if you want to check it out.
The multi-page self-assessment appears to be the second document its type this month. Last week, we received another report pointing to the positive impact the FCC was having on broadband infrastructure, thanks to the relaxation net neutrality laws.
That was hammered home again in this report, with Pai reiterating his commitment to ‘light touch’ regulation. Here’s the quote that appears under the report section titled ‘Promoting Innovation and Investment’.
“In the United States, we are in the process returning to the light-touch approach to regulation that produced tremendous investment and innovation throughout our entire Internet ecosystem — from the core our networks to providers at the edge.” – FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
Accordingly, here’s how the FCC characterizes its net neutrality rollback. It almost reads like a to-do list, with this listed as the first accomplishment. The FCC’s rollback was ficially initiated in December 2017 amidst heavy protest (and questionable comments on the FCC site itself).
“Restoring Internet Freedom — Voted to restore the longstanding, bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework that fostered rapid Internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years. This action reversed the FCC’s 2015 imposition heavy-handed Title II utility-style government regulation on Internet providers that discouraged investment in next-generation networks”
Meanwhile, it’s unclear if ISPs themselves will be able to enjoy the FCC’s handout. And a major reason is that U.S. states are aggressively pushing back, and forcing ISPs to adhere to net neutrality provisions — or face fines or expulsion. That could make it it nearly impossible for ISPs like Verizon and Comcast to ditch net neutrality, especially given the serious costs associated with constructing state-by-state, patchwork provisions relating to net neutrality compliance.
Here’s the full FCC report.