Ajit Pai

Statement On Democratic Senators’ Press Conference Supporting the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | No Comments

Washington, DC, February 7, 2017 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding today’s press conference in which Democratic senators campaigned for the Federal Communications Commission’s open internet regulations:

“Obama’s FCC didn’t settle the issue of internet regulation. The FCC opposed bright-line net neutrality rules during the Bush Administration, adopted them during the Obama Administration, and is expected to change course again.

Without new Congressional legislation, the FCC’s net neutrality rules will keep swinging like a pendulum with every presidential election. A lasting approach to net neutrality must come from the democratic process in Congress, not executive fiat.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

Statement On Ajit Pai’s Designation as FCC Chairman

Posted by | Regulatory State, Statement | No Comments

Washington, DC, January 23, 2017 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding the designation of Ajit Pai as the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission:

“There is no one more qualified to guide the FCC for the next four years. Chairman Pai’s intelligence, experience, and humility will serve the American people well. The future of communications regulation could not be any brighter.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

Sprint’s Decision To Skip Wireless Auction “Highlights The Folly” Of Federal Hubris

Posted by | Regulatory State, Wireless | No Comments

Few industry analysts seemed surprised when Sprint’s new CEO announced “after thorough analysis” that the company won’t participate in next year’s auction of TV broadcast spectrum (known as the “incentive auction”). Analysts already knew that Sprint “has the spectrum it needs to deploy its network architecture of the future.” As a senior telecommunications analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence said in response to the news, “Sprint really has a lot more spectrum than its rivals, so they don’t have that pressing need to get more.”

The announcement is an embarrassment to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which apparently didn’t know (or didn’t care) that Sprint was flush with spectrum for the foreseeable future. When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was developing its auction rules, the DOJ urged it to “ensure” that both Sprint and T-Mobile would “win” spectrum in the auction. The DOJ believed Sprint and T-Mobile had to win “low-frequency” spectrum in the auction in order to compete against Verizon and AT&T in the mobile marketplace. The FCC agreed with the DOJ’s expert opinion and decided to “reserve” the auction’s best spectrum for bidders other than AT&T and Verizon.

Though it’s no surprise, it’s now obvious the country’s federal experts on competition and antitrust matters were wrong in their analysis of Sprint’s alleged need for low-frequency spectrum in order to compete. The agencies were blind to Sprint’s effort to leverage Washington to its business advantage even though Sprint used the same tactics just a few years ago in the last major spectrum auction. As FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai recently noted, “Sprint’s decision not to participate in the incentive auction highlights the folly of the FCC’s attempt to pick winners and losers before the auction begins.” It’s been less than a year since Sprint told the FCC that it would be “unable to make up much, if any, ground” competing against Verizon and AT&T if the FCC didn’t expand its existing spectrum reserve so that Sprint could acquire additional spectrum. It was only after the FCC completed its spectrum reserve proceeding that Sprint announced it doesn’t need the spectrum after all. Read More

FCC Commissioner Pai’s Rural Internet Plan Is A Winner

Posted by | Broadband Internet | No Comments

Universal service, the idea that all Americans should have access to communications services, has been a core principle of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since its founding. This principle originated with the telephone in the early 20th century, but today’s consumers are abandoning plain old telephone service in droves. The great infrastructure challenge of the 21st century is universal broadband Internet service.

This challenge remains unmet in rural America. It’s been more than five years since the FCC issued a National Broadband Plan to ensure every American has access to broadband capability. Though broadband deployment has progressed rapidly in urban areas, it is not becoming available quickly enough in rural areas, where more than half of the population still lacks access to broadband infrastructure. It is becoming increasingly clear that the FCC’s universal service policies haven’t kept pace with the broadband revolution.

Yesterday, Commissioner Ajit Pai described how the FCC could help bridge the yawning digital divide between urban and rural America without increasing the existing budget for universal service funding. Read More

Video: Title II Telecom Forum With FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Regulatory State | No Comments

Yesterday the Internet Innovation Alliance posted the video stream from its event entitled, “Title II Regulation and its Potential Impact on Deployment of 21st Century Broadband Networks and Services,” featuring FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. The video is available HERE.

Campbell Speaking at Internet Innovation Alliance Telecommunications Forum

Posted by | Broadband Internet | No Comments

It’s going to be a busy week: In addition to the Wednesday webinar, I’ll be speaking this Thursday, July 24 from 10 to 11:30 pm ET at an Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) Telecommunications Forum entitled, “Title II Regulation and its Potential Impact on Deployment of 21st Century Broadband Networks and Services.” The event features FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who will be delivering a keynote presentation, and will be held in Washington, DC at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Registration is available HERE.

FCC Chairman Wheeler Shows Uncommon Wisdom, Chooses Common Law Approach to Internet Oversight

Posted by | Broadband Internet | 2 Comments

The Internet is abuzz with news that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler favors a case-by-case approach to addressing Internet competition issues. It is the wisest course, and perhaps the most courageous. Some on the right will say he is going too far, and some on the left will say he isn’t going far enough. That is one reason Wheeler’s approach should be commended. Staunch disagreements about net neutrality and other Internet governance issues reflect the uncertainty inherent in a dynamic market.

Chairman Wheeler’s comments this week echoed Socrates (“I’m not smart enough to know what comes next [in innovation]”) and, to my surprise, Virginia Postrel (the Chairman favors addressing Internet issues “in a dynamic rather than a static way”). He recognizes that, in a two-sided market, there is no reason to assume that ISPs will necessarily have the ability to charge content providers rather than the other way around. The potential for strategic behavior on the Internet today is radically different than in the dial-up Internet era, and the Chairman appears prepared to consider those differences in his approach to communications regulation. Read More