Pai Talks Wireless at White House Meeting

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he did not discuss his proposal to roll back Title II classification of ISPs at a meeting at the White House Thursday, but did talk about the building blocks of a wireless future—spectrum and infrastructure.

Asked about the meeting by a reporter following the FCC's public meeting—particularly given Pai's criticism of what he thought as too close ties between the White House and Tom Wheeler on that issue—the chairman said they had an "excellent conversation" with tech and telecom leaders and his input was sought on the rollout of 5G and the Internet of Things.

He called it a "very fruitful conversation about spectrum and infrastructure and the like" and that he looked forward to working with all interested parties.

RELATED: Survey: Majority Want Net-Neutrality Rules

As to FCC independence, he said the FCC was still an independent agency, but that there were ways to collaborate with others in the Administration, before launching into string of nautical references to make his point. He said he wanted to make sure "we are steering in the right direction," calling them "all sailors in the same boat" and saying that it was an "all hands on deck effort" to make sure wireless innovators have the necessary tools.

Recode reported that Pai was joined at the meeting by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure and Verizon President John Stratton.

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.