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Pai: FCC Not Proposing to Decelerate Broadband Benchmark

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai has been on something of a campaign to correct the record on a particular matter. Namely: his proposal to adjust the sights on the agency’s annual assessment of whether advanced telecommunications is being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion.

Internet service providers have long argued, along with Pai, that the FCC had been putting a thumb on the scale for regulation by concluding that because deployment was not 100%, that deployment was not reasonable and timely.

In August, in seeking comment on the next report, Pai proposed considering other factors in that determination, including asking whether the FCC’s definition of high-speed should be adjusted.

But fans of the previous reports cried foul, and have been characterizing the proposal as lowering the definition of high speed as 25 Megabits per second downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.

At a congressional hearing earlier this month, and in a letter to Congress, Pai tried to set the record straight; but just last week at another Hill hearing, the charge was leveled once again.

Pai said in the letter that the item “clearly proposes to maintain Pai the standard.”

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.