Previously, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai cancelled his appearance at CES 2018 in January, reportedly because of death threats, but it appears that he feels safe enough to attend a panel at MWC 2018. Pai took part in the event, titled “The Future of the Industry: Transatlantic Digital Policy and Regulation,” where he discussed his plans for 5G connectivity, and his decision to repeal net neutrality in the US.
Talking about the repeal of net neutrality, he said that despite public perception on the moves he’s made when he took over the FCC as part of President Trump’s administration, the internet will remain open and free. He further added that “no one gets a pass.” Analyzing his “no one” comment, he’s most likely talking about the idea of certain companies, particularly network carriers like Verizon, getting special treatment after the net neutrality ending on April 23rd.
Discussing further, Pai emphasized that his version of the internet will not be any different from what was in place during the 1900s and until 2015. The previous, Pai says, is what allowed companies like Amazon, Facebook and others to thrive and see successes. He further added that taking his market-based, light-regulation approach is the very key that will make 5G a success in the US. “To realize the promise of 5G, we will need smart networks, not dumb pipes,” Pai said. “Dumb pipes won’t deliver smart cities. Dumb pipes won’t enable millions of connected, self-driving cars to navigate the roads safely at the same time.”
Talking about “dumb pipes,” he said that it won’t give US networks needed to “enable the 5G applications of the future,” stating that he has the country’s best interest at heart and this route will allow the US to become a leader in the technology. “The United States needs modern, flexible, light-touch network regulation,” he said, “not a one-size-fits-all utility model from the 1930s.” He stated that model was what Obama and his FCC administration had implemented in 2015: “Without question, our most important move here was to reverse the previous administration’s decision to subject our 21st century networks to 20th century utility-style regulation.”
Pai said that he fully understands how companies and consumers feel about his decision to repeal net neutrality, and that there’s a long legal battle ahead to defend his decisions. He further added that he’s confident in his decisions and that consumers will see how his plan will benefit them by looking “at the facts,” rather than being influenced by viral campaigns like the Burger King’s net neutrality ad.
To see the success Pai has envisioned for the US, he said that the government must work together work tech firms and networks to enable investments and innovations in new wireless technologies and services. “If we do that, the earth will be connected (if not converted), and everybody will win.” It’s your decision if you agree with what he’s saying. Do you agree or disagree?