The Verge reports FCC Chairman Ajit Pai believes net neutrality was “a Mistake,” and says that the commission is headed toward an era of lighter regulations which will stimulate growth.
“Our new approach injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market,” Pai said during a speech at Mobile World Congress this afternoon. “And uncertainty is the enemy of growth.”
Pai has long been opposed to net neutrality and voted against the proposal when it came up in 2015. While he hasn’t specifically stated that he plans to reverse the order now that he’s chairman, today’s speech suggests pretty clearly that he’s aiming to.
“Today, the torch at the FCC has been passed to a new generation, dedicated to renewal as well as change,” Pai said. “We are confident in the decades-long, cross-party consensus on light-touch internet regulation … and we are on track to returning to that successful approach.”
Pai: “Light Touch” Regulation is Working
Pai believes internet providers were doing well under the old rules, and believes the new rules have hurt investment. Pai’s remarks fly in the face of limited competition in the home and business broadband market. Also, a Consumerist report on Net Neutrality found internet providers were planning to spend more in the coming year.
As additional evidence that “light touch” regulation is working, Pai points to the commission’s approval of zero-rating schemes — this, he says, is exactly why all four carriers are now offering unlimited data plans.
The Verge points out that the wireless companies’ unlimited data offerings are due to the previous FCC Chairman’s giving them a clear set of rules to follow. Meanwhile, Pai believes competition can preserve an open internet without rules.