Pai FCC Chairmanship Reaction, Take II

The transom continued to fill with Reaction Monday (Jan, 23) following senior FCC Republican Ajit Pai's announcement that he had, indeed, been named the next chairman of the FCC.

"During his tenure, Chairman Pai has been a strong advocate of smart, forward-looking policies in the communications space, a steadfast supporter of issues including broadband expansion, particularly in rural areas, and a proponent of innovation and new ideas that will benefit consumers and the nation as a whole," said Verizon SVP Kathy Grillo. "We believe Chairman Pai truly knows and understands the issues facing our industry, and is a critical thinker who will look for ways to help communications and technology companies fuel growth in the American economy.

"Chairman Pai’s experience at DOJ, in Congress and especially at the FCC, along with his keen intellect and affable nature, will help him lead the FCC to accomplish great things," said Catherine Bohigian, EVP, government affairs, for Charter.    He understands that the appropriate amount of regulation enables businesses to grow, adding jobs, spurring  innovation and creating economic growth for  the benefit of consumers and the public interest.  We at Charter congratulate Chairman Pai and look forward to working with him and his fellow Commissioners to implement a pro-investment, pro-broadband deployment agenda to the benefit of consumers in cities and towns across the country."

“High-speed Internet is essential to economic and social life in the 21st century," said the Communications Workers of America.  We look to Chairman Pai to promote policies that encourage quality jobs and investment in broadband infrastructure to all Americans, protect an Open Internet, and preserve a diverse media that is so essential to our democracy/"

“In March 2016, then-Commissioner Pai stated that the Federal Communications Commission ‘is at its best when it operates in a bipartisan, collaborative, and transparent manner.’ We hope that Chairman Pai will honor his statement and work with his colleagues to ensure that all Americans have affordable access to the Internet through essential FCC programs, such as the modernized Lifeline program, E-rate support to schools and libraries, and the Connect America Fund.”

"ACA is pleased that President Trump has selected Ajit Pai as Chairman of the FCC," said American Cable Association president Matt Polka. "Over his many years of service as a Commissioner, he has demonstrated an extensive knowledge of communications law and policy and a deep understanding of the communications business and industry dynamic. Moreover, we at ACA have always found he has an open door to listen to our views and proposals. He respects and understands the concerns of independent cable operators, especially in those cases where they have been required to shoulder enormous regulatory burdens to the same extent as much larger providers, such as new obligations to comply with the Open Internet's enhanced transparency rules."

“As commissioner at the FCC, Ajit Pai has released a substantive plan for broadband network deployment that has the potential to empower communities around the nation,' said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS. "We look forward to working with him on these shared goals.  INCOMPAS believes competition policy, inspired by President Ronald Reagan, is the fastest way to deploy new broadband infrastructure that is both fast and affordable.

“Whether urban or rural, the homes, office buildings and factories with more broadband competition have more connections to the future.  We look forward to working with Chairman Pai toward this goal.”

Sarah Morris, director of open internet policy for New America's Open Technology Institute, had some advice for the new chairman.

“Throughout his tenure at the FCC, Commissioner Pai has been a steadfast opponent of net neutrality and consumer privacy rules, and a rubber stamp for mega-mergers," she said. "His anti-regulatory agenda is a gift to telecom lobbyists and a major threat to consumers, small businesses, and the American economy. We urge the Commission to remain true to its public interest mandate and resist efforts to roll back vital consumer protections like the Open Internet Order. The American people need an FCC that fights for them, and they will hold this FCC Chairman accountable.”

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Commissioner Pai to protect the interests of children and families on matters that have come before the FCC in recent years," said Parents Television Council President Tim Winter. "During his tenure at the FCC, Commissioner Pai has demonstrated his support for enforcing the longstanding broadcast indecency law, which gives the FCC authority to protect the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves from indecent content during times of the day when children are likely to be watching. He has always been a conscientious listener when the PTC has raised other matters of concern. And as a father of young children himself, he understands that media content can have a powerful and profound impact on children. We applaud today’s appointment of Commissioner Ajit Pai as the new FCC Chairman. We stand ready, willing and able to help him on matters of mutual concern,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

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.