Pai: Title II Order Will Mean Rate Regulation

FCC commissioner Ajit Pai said Tuesday (Feb. 10) that the public has been misled, and shielded from key details, about FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed Title II-based network neutrality rules, including saying that the "claim"—made by the chairman—that the plan did not include rate regulation was "flat out false," though he continued to characterize the proposal as the President's, rather than the chairman.

That came in an unusual press conference in that it was held by a minority commissioner in the FCC's meeting room. Pai has been highly critical of the proposal, circulated last week, and the fact that it tracks with the President's call for Title II after Wheeler initially proposed not to reclassify Internet access as a common carrier service. But he said the plan was "worse than I had imagined."

"The plan clearly states that the FCC can regulate the rates that Internet service providers charge for broadband Internet access or interconnection or transit,” Pai said. “In short, for the core aspects of Internet services."

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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.