New FCC chairman Ajit Pai vows to take a ‘weed whacker’ to so-called ‘net neutrality’

“President Trump on Monday designated Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission and an outspoken opponent of new net neutrality rules, to be the agency’s new chairman,” Jim Puzzanghera reports for The Los Angeles Times. “A telecommunications lawyer who has served on the FCC since May 2012, Pai is a free-market advocate who has been sharply critical of new regulations adopted by Democrats in recent years.”

“‘We need to fire up the weed whacker and remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation and job creation,’ Pai said in a speech last month looking ahead to Republican control of the FCC,” Puzzanghera reports. “Pai, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from India, was associate general counsel of Verizon Communications Inc. from 2001-03 before working as a staffer at the U.S. Senate, the Justice Department and the FCC.”

“He sprinkles his speeches with pop-culture references and is adept at social media. During the net neutrality debate, he tweeted a photo of himself with the 332-page proposal and lamented that FCC rules didn’t allow him to make it public. Pai has pushed for FCC proposals to be released before commissioners vote on them,” Puzzanghera reports. “Chief among Pai’s targets will be the net neutrality online traffic rules the FCC adopted on a partisan 3-2 vote in 2015.”

“Trump also spoke out against the rules, tweeting in November 2014, ‘Obama’s attack on the Internet is another top-down power grab.’ A federal appeals court upheld the rules last year after a legal challenge from AT&T Inc., other telecom companies and industry trade groups,” Puzzanghera reports. “But in a Dec. 7 speech to the Free State Foundation, a free-market think tank, Pai said he was ‘more confident than ever’ that the “days are numbered” for the net neutrality regulations.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in August 2006:

We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so such regulation can often have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net as neutral as it is today.

And as we followed up in September 2009:

That we have the same Take over three years later should be telling. Government regulations are not a panacea, neither are the lack thereof. It’s all about striking a proper balance where innovation can thrive while abuses are prevented.

Make that “the same Take over a decade later.”

President Trump elevates Ajit Pai to FCC Chairman – January 23, 2017
Outgoing FCC chief Tom Wheeler offers final defense of so-called ‘net neutrality’ – January 13, 2017
Under President Trump, Obama ally Google may face policy setbacks, including roll back of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 18, 2016
Jeb Bush on FCC and so-called ‘net neutrality’ regulation: ‘One of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard’ – March 8, 2015
Who loves the FCC’s overreach on so-called ‘net neutrality?’ Telecom lawyers – March 5, 2015
Legal battles loom over FCC’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 26, 2015
U.S. FCC OKs so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules on party-line vote – February 26, 2015
U.S. FCC’s rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ expected to unleash slew of court challenges – February 26, 2015
EFF: ‘We are deeply concerned; FCC’s new rules include provision that sounds like a recipe for overreach’ – February 25, 2015
The U.S. FCC’s Orwellian Internet policy – February 25, 2015
Democratic FCC commissioner balks at so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 24, 2015
FCC chief pressed to release proposed regulations governing so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 23, 2015
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai: Obama’s plan a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet – February 10, 2015
Congress launches investigation as Republicans claim Obama had ‘improper influence’ over so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 7, 2015
FCC chairman proposes to regulate ISP’s under Title II – February 4, 2015
U.S. congressional Republicans’ bill aims to head off Obama’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ plan – January 17, 2015
U.S. Congressional proposal offers Internet rules of the road – January 15, 2015
U.S. FCC says it will vote on so-called ‘net neutrality’ in February – January 3, 2015
FCC hopes its rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ survive inevitable litigation – November 22, 2014
Obama-appointed FCC chairman distances himself from Obama on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 12, 2014
What does so-called ‘net neutrality’ mean for Apple? – November 12, 2014
AT&T to pause fiber investment until net neutrality rules are decided – November 12, 2014
There’s no one to root for in the debate over so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 11, 2014
U.S. FCC plays Russian Roulette with so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 11, 2014
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner: Republicans will continue efforts to stop misguided scheme to regulate the Internet – November 10, 2014
Tech Freedom: Obama cynically exploits confusion over Title II, misses opportunity to lead on legislative deal – November 10, 2014
Obama want FCC to regulate the Internet; Cruz calls it ‘Obamacare for the Internet’ – November 10, 2014


  1. IOW: The Golden Age of Internet is OVER.
    Corporatocracy kills again.

    net neutrality
    – the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites.

    I’ll miss it.

    1. The definition you’ve copied does not match Oblahblah’s Wheeler’s so-called “net neutrality,” so there’s nothing for you to miss.

      People who do not bother to understand what the previous FCC did and who think it was the dictionary definition of “net neutrality” and therefore criticize Chairman Pai are fools.

      The Golden Age of Internet is not over, it’s being reborn.

      1. Shut up. You are so willfully ignorant of what actually works in the world. You’re just another ventriloquist’s dummy.

        And no, dumbass, I’m not one of your 1-D ‘libtards’. I actually think for myself in as many dimensions as possible. Please reply back so I can rip on you further.

          1. Good read:
            “He favors a return to the bi-partisan policy of light-touch regulation established in the early days of the commercial Internet—policies that have made possible the convergence of networks, media and technologies on the single open Internet standard. His FCC is likely to be consistent, professional, and predictable.”
            “But first, a reality check. Pai has consistently supported the basic principles of net neutrality—the common sense view that ISPs should not be allowed to block specific legal websites or devices, intentionally slow some traffic to benefit others, misrepresent their network management practices or otherwise behave in conduct long-considered anti-competitive in American law.”
            Certainly not taking a weed whacker to net neutrality. Just needs to take a weed whacker to some fake news being made about himself. 🙂

          1. If the Trump can actually rip the guts out of BOTH worthless political parties and force them to be REPRESENTATIVE of We The People, that would make me happy.

            Meanwhile, he’s being himself, as expected. I won’t pour on the insults again. Why bother. He’s been ‘outed’ in public and I do so hate being boring.

      2. The local partisan bigot speaks again. Firsty: your candidate just implemented a major setback to internet freedom so that his cronies can profit more. You can’t stand on both sides of this fence. Either you support freedom or you don’t. In this position, Trump has clearly sided with greedy special interests.

            1. Go, Trump, go! Make America Great Again! Drill, baby, drill! Sign, baby, sing! Make Libs heads explode!

              And make ‘redumblican’ bills increase
              And bank accounts vaporise.

          1. The Secret Service is one of the first money-saving agencies that President Trump should cut. Unfortunately he is choosing to gut all the agencies that protect citizens from the overreaches of unfettered corporate greed.

      3. First, Then, while Wheeler’s version of Net Neutrality was (and at the moment is) far from perfect, it is far, far better than anything I’ve heard out of Pai’s mouth or read that he’s written. So far his statements and writings indicate he’s very much in favor of letting the big boys dictate what kind of Internet we have — one that is very much driven by the interest and profit making ability of the biggest players.

        We’ll have to see what actually transpires over the next 60-90 days, but if Pai’s history is any indication, Net Neutrality is dead for the foreseeable future. To say otherwise is trying to point to “alternate facts” that are not facts at all, but rather lies.

      4. You are probably a corporate funded TROLL with a soul purpose of spreading disinformation. We don’t even think you read the articles you comment on! You blindly criticise Obama without mentioning any details. Also, we can sense your hate for Obama that you cannot even tell his name. How can a person with some much hate be reasonable?

        We should never let such comments brainwash the minds of innocent civilians. Being silent is an expensive mistake that cost this election.
        If you know, something is wrong, and if you have the power to stop it, then it is your responsibility to stop it.

    2. As someone who actually played on the original system back when there were less than a half dozen nodes, I’ll offer a simpler, yet more expansive definition.

      “Each carrier of any kind must treat every bit of each kind the same for access, transport, and pricing purposes.”

      For further clarification, this means that video can be treated differently than banking traffic, but it also means that all video must be treated the same and all banking traffic must be treated the same. It explicitly forbids forcing certain customers to buy expensive equipment onsite and not require others to do so (including yourself). It explicitly forbids charging one set of customers one fee while others get a reduced fee or your own content goes free.

      It does NOT say that carrier A needs to charge the same rates as carrier B (note the “each” rather than “all” start of the sentence.

      It does NOT say that every carrier must carry every kind of data stream. It just says that if they allow a certain kind of data stream for one source, then they must offer the same terms to other sources.

      The bottom line is the ‘net need to be neutral and agnostic to the traffic that goes through it.

      And, yes, there needs to be exceptions for illegal traffic, e.g., traffic that involves certain kinds of pornography or undisclosed currency transfers. But, the general rule holds.

  2. Just another ideologue, trying to worship at the non-existent altar of Free Market Capitalism. Free markets are only free to pick the pockets of the population at large. If AT&T wants something, it’s almost always something that costs consumers.

    Still, a 332 page proposed rule is pretty silly. One page, at most. “You can’t impede the flow of any internet data packet, or hold it hostage for payment of more money.”

  3. This means that – without the vote of Congress, the peoples’ branch of government – a federal agency now claims the power to regulate the Internet. I am surprised that even among civil liberties groups, some claim the federal government increasing regulation of the Internet somehow increases our freedom and liberty.

    The truth is very different. The adoption of these FCC rules on the Internet represents the largest regulatory power grab in recent history. The FCC’s newly adopted rule takes the most dynamic means of communication and imposes the regulatory structure designed for public utilities. Federal regulation could also open the door to de facto censorship of ideas perceived as threatening to the political class – ideas like the troops should be brought home, the PATRIOT Act should be repealed, military spending and corporate welfare should be cut, and the Federal Reserve should be audited and ended.

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