Free Press Hammers Pai Over Net-Neutrality Statements

Free Press research director Derek Turner said FCC commissioner Ajit Pai was flat-out wrong when he said investment by larger ISPs has flat-lined since the FCC's decision a year ago to reclassify Internet access as a Title II telecommunications service subject to common-carrier regs.

In a speech on Feb. 26 marking the one year anniversary of the vote, Pai said the reclassification had decreased investment, discouraged innovation and injected uncertainty in the marketplace, all things he pointed out he had predicted in voting against the regs.

In response, Turner, said Monday (Feb. 29): "The broadband industry’s apocalyptic predictions about how the adoption of enforceable Net Neutrality rules would destroy the market have failed to materialize in the year since the FCC’s historic vote. Network investment is up. Revenues and profits are higher. And subscriber growth continues at a high level even as prices rise and the market nears saturation."

He called Pai a "dead-ender" peddling a false claim and then blaming the FCC's new rules for a nonexistent result.

“Policymakers like Pai should stop going on about imaginary harms and start tackling real problems," Turner said "Future threats to the U.S. broadband market come not from regulation, but from the consequences of market-power abuses that are likely to arise as the industry becomes more concentrated and less competitive.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.