On May 18, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai kick started the regulatory process of repealing Title II regulations on Internet Service Providers. Despite decades of a bipartisan light touch regulatory approach, championed by the Clinton Administration, the FCC under the Obama Administration imposed Title II regulations in 2015 through a 1934 law intended to reign in the Ma Bell monopoly, “treating the internet like a utility.” As a result, Title II regulations have stifled growth and innovation from small and large providers within the market.

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, recently interviewed Pai on his fight to repeal Title II regulations, his nomination process, the recent history of the FCC and the future of 5G.

“The biggest [decision under the Obama administration’s purview of the FCC] was net neutrality,” Pai explained. “The FCC was heading down one path, a more relatively free market path, and after [President Obama’s] instruction in 2014, the agency took a very different road and imposed utility style regulations on the internet which I’ve called ‘ a solution that wouldn’t work for a problem that really didn’t exist’”

Pai then goes on to explain the crippling effects of Title II regulations on the internet.

“If you want your internet to run as well as your water company or the DC metro, congratulations, [Title II is] a regulatory framework that does that. But if you want the internet to be free and open, if you want people to invest in building out networks further and increasing competition, you want the free market approach that started under President Clinton… that light touch regulatory approach was proven to succeed for the better part of two decades.”

The fight to repeal Title II regulations, led by Chairman Pai, has only just begun with the start of the public commenting period that will end on August 16. This will be followed by a decision by the FCC on whether to repeal Title II regulations on Internet Service Providers.

Listen to the rest of Chairman Pai’s interview here: 


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore