FCC Chairman Ajit Pai calls for a ‘lighter touch’ to internet regulation

“In 2015, the FCC voted to approve strict net neutrality rules, prohibiting internet service providers from throttling connection customers’ speeds or blocking certain sites,” Eric Johnson reports for Recode. “On the latest episode of Recode Decode, new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai explained why he wants to undo those rules, saying they are ‘not the same as an open internet.'”

Johnson reports, “‘We don’t want to impose monopoly-style regulation developed for Ma Bell in the 1930s, to apply to every single company in the United States that is building out a broadband network,’ Pai told Recode’s Tony Romm. ‘We would much rather have the free-market ‘light touch’ approach that the Clinton administration adopted. We’re not saying the choice is either Title II or the Wild West, it’s light-touch regulation, the middle ground, that we’re looking to return to.'”

“‘What we have to do at the agency is figure out the right regulatory framework to preserve a free and open internet and the incentive to invest in networks…I don’t think it’s a radical position to say that the Clinton administration got it right,’ he added. ‘The Bush administration got it right. The first six years of the Obama administration got it right. This is a bipartisan issue, historically,'” Johnson reports. “”

Read more and listen to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Recode Decode in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Once again – boilerplate time! – 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.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai explains why he wants to scrap so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – April 28, 2017
FCC Chief Ajit Pai develops plans to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – April 7, 2017
U.S. FCC chairman wields weed whacker, takes first steps against so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 3, 2017
How so-called ‘net neutrality’ will fare under President Trump – January 26, 2017
New FCC chairman Ajit Pai vows to take a ‘weed whacker’ to so-called ‘net neutrality’ – January 24, 2017
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


  1. This “light touch” would be fully enough for a complete oligarchic/monopolistic takeover of the Internet, even though smaller competitors will be only “slightly” discriminated by the “freedoms” that will be given to the oligarchy of few huge corporations.

    1. Net Neutrality is already essentially dead.
      Netflix now pays Comcast protection money to assure decent streaming on Comcast’s network. AT&T does not meter data for DirecTV streaming on the if wireless or wired networks. Verizon does the same for their streaming NFL product. Comcast does not meter xFinity streaming apps on it’s network, either.
      Part of the consumer movement regarding Net Neutrality was making sure that ISPs and Backbone companies were not creating fast and slow lanes artificially in order to generate revenue- pay up or your content goes on the slow lane. That is increasingly what is happening and it will only get worse with Pai at the FCC.
      The ISPs claimed a couple of years back that there were no slow lanes, but once Netflix cried uncle and paid Comcast their protection money Netflix streaming noticeably improved nationwide. Sounds like a shakedown.

  2. Historically, broad deregulation ultimately creates an economic and social mess. Transportation, Financial, Energy and Communication industries are good examples. Time and again large corporations have shown little, if any, ehtical morals when left unregulated. In turn, most large corporations are notorious for maximizing profits and market share at the expense of the consumer, regardless of the broader economic consequences, e.g. the 2008 Bank meltdown and the 1999 Dot.Com bubble. With that said, deregulation ought to be a non-political endeavor, specifically geared toward preserving/protecting consumer rights first. Why is this concept so difficult for corporations or politicians to understand? Yet, time and again, the ignored karmic implications of corporate malfesence and unethical behavior ultimately rears its ugly head. Just ask United Airlines, AIG, Bank of America, Enron, British Petroleum, etc.

  3. Money doesn’t talk, it swears.
    — Bob Dylan, It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) (1964)

    “In his book Bob Dylan, Performing Artist, author Paul Williams has suggested that the song addresses ‘the possibility that the most important (and least articulated) political issue of our times is that we are all being fed a false picture of reality, and it’s coming at us from every direction.'”

  4. Let’s Just Say It:

    Behind the Smoke, Mirrors, Citizen Pacifying, Propaganda, Hypocritical Rhetoric… it’s all about one thing:


    Yeah, we want corporations running our lives, don’t we! Things will be sooooo much better when Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Spectrum, Ad Nauseam are dictating the Internet for us. We’ll be sooooo much happier with the corporations treating us as their serfs.

    🤢 :-Q*****


        1. Not to quibble, but vacillate has two different meanings, the first an inability to choose, the second a switching back and forth between choices. The first doesn’t seem to apply, as DC has staked out emphatic positions as opposed to dithering. The second seems to imply temporal expediency akin to oscillation, but doesn’t seem to cover a one-time recanting of a previous belief prompted by new evidence or keen argumentation. You yourself have stated approval of Tim Cook for certain past actions, but you now want him removed. You reserve the right to change your mind; shouldn’t everyone else? Except politicians of course; their multiplex masters almost guarantee vacillation, and no surprise.

  5. Ajit Pai is the Buttboy for the Telecom and Cable cartels.

    He was interviewed on Bloomberg Technology and spouted the standard Republican Bullshit that deregulation can cure everything from Cancer to Climate Change. His face is next to “Tool” and “Useful Idiot” in some Dictionaries.

    Light Touch Regulation is Washington-Speak for captive regulation- a.k.a. letting the Fox watch the henhouse. There is a lot of that going on with Trumpenstein right now.

    The area of government needing to be put on a leash is taxation on the internet. States are doing everything they can to get their hands on internet commerce and every level of government is slapping a tax on internet services. The power to tax is the power to destroy.

    1. As states lose sales tax revenue from brick & mortar business transactions due to the exodus to internet commerce…how will states and municipalities make-up for that lost revenue that finances local governments: police, fire, schools, etc?

      1. Since you haven’t been paying attention: the vast and increasing tax burden falls on individuals and howeowners, not on businesses of any kind. Exactly the opposite of how it was when you thought America was Great.

        Since you don’t use police, fire departments, schools, or libraries, why do you care, botty?

            1. botty – your own chart is useless. Show us what revenues come from citizens and which are collected from corporations.

              Of course we all know that the rates are dramatically different. property tax and utility taxes are heavily gerrymandered to special rates for large businesses. Small businesses and homeowners get screwed. No matter what the final corporate tax rate ends up to be, those corporations have no incentive to do anything other than to pass their entire tax burden directly to consumers. They certainly aren’t moving their headquarters to a small town in order to reduce the property tax burden from their shiny monotlith offices in Manhattan, are they?

              The reason that corporate executives live in golded towers upwind from their polluting industrial operations is that they don’t really care about the tax rate as the political rhetoric would lead you to believe. The real tax burden imposed by those evil governments of the USA are insignificant compared to the cost of labor. Tax rates could be effectively zero (and often are!), and still the corporations would move offshore to benefit from the massive labor cost difference.

              Of course, in the long run these corporations are just now realizing that as the US middle class is losing its purchasing power, having spent 3 decades going into mortgage & credit debt in a vain attempt to hold up the standard of living. As the population ages, who is left to fund repairs to aging infrastructure and the insane profiteering in the medical market?

              Perhaps the entities who actually hold the wealth and use the resources and infrastructure should be the ones who pay for it. But still botty thinks that zero taxation on corporations is the answer to all problems. That’s what First Then Idiot told him, so it must be accurate.

              Well, all economic analysis points to a huge and growing wealth gap precisely because those who have inside access to democratic representatives make the rules to benefit themselves, while the working class always has to pay full rate, and accept whatever wages are offered.

              The pie is growing, but corporations (and their executives, the 1% elite who have no personal liability of any kind by legal design) gobbled up all the wealth that workers created since the mid 1990’s. They can show on paper that they pay a large amount in absolute tax dollars, but that pales in comparison to the huge rewards that they were allowed to just take outright. You know, like the tens of millions of dollars in signing bonus that Ahrends received for walking in the door. Was that earned income?

              When America was Great, the American worker shared in the prosperity and corporations actually paid a significant part of societal costs. The tide rose all boats. Now we have “dealmakers” like Trump who propose that he became a billionaire because he was smart. Actually he did so by screwing the middle class. Apple screws the people of China who work in inhuman conditions — not because it is morally defensible, but because the Chinese government has established such low standards and the workers there have no power to demand better.

              And so the corporate power grows, brand fanboy adoration continues, and 90% of the population of the planet slides further behind into poverty. Can’t you please give poor Cook more tax breaks? You know Apple needs help, please give what you can.

            2. My charts showed who is taking the wealth that every working citizen has helped create.

              You showed an approximate guesstimated partial budget breakdown of a hypothetical city without any references.

              Try again, asswipe.

            3. That is not what it says on the bottom of your cut/paste picture.

              Given the chance to have a rational respectful conversation, botvinnik, you fail more miserably than anyone I have ever seen.

              Good job Mike. Hard to believe you are willing to even attempt to enlighten such a narrow minded idiot with verifiable facts.

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