Ajit Pai has always been a man who errs on the side of companies rather than the side of consumers. With his role as Chairman of the FCC, this seems counterproductive but don’t worry, he knows.
Pai entered the spotlight in 2017, where he led the movement to kill net neutrality, the enforced set of laws that keep ISPs from charging more for less and blocking certain websites from certain plans.
Why would someone oppose net neutrality? If you asked Ajit Pai, he’d tell you that the current rules and restrictions disallow ISPs to grow and stifle potential competition.
What he wouldn’t tell you is his job as an attorney for Verizon, a company that supports the repeal of net neutrality. He worked as an attorney for Verizon until he became a commissioner under the FCC in 2012.
Planting the Seed
Even during his time as commissioner, Ajit Pai took a stand against net neutrality. When the rules were put into effect in 2015, Pai commented that “The American people are being misled about President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet,”
While it would be irresponsible to say that Ajit Pai is in the pocket of Verizon and ISPs, as there is no hard evidence, the possibility is there. Pai himself joked about being a Verizon puppet during the FCC Chairman’s Dinner.
Now, as FCC Chairman, he has wasted no time making us believe those exact words, as every action he has taken benefits only companies like Verizon, with U.S. consumers suffering the consequences.
Maintaining the Seed
His first goal as FCC Chairman was to repeal net neutrality, and unfortunately, he succeeded.
On December of 2017, the FCC voted to repeal the Title II regulations that kept net neutrality in place. Of course, many politicians and citizens have called for a re-establishment of the rules, but there has been little progress in that sector.
Despite Pai’s success, he’s not done. Last year, Pai made headlines for his supposed role in aiding the merger between Sinclair Broadcasting Group and Tribune Media, though Pai later aided the investigation and claimed the merger was not the best for consumers.
Burning the Plant
Now, Pai has his eye on regulations on a city level, ordering cities and towns across the United States to stop the regulation of broadband that is delivered over cable.
Essentially, local governments wouldn’t be allowed to regulate internet access through cable networks, giving those cable networks more power over the local government concerning said internet access.
This plan was passed yesterday, but it’s today that Pai ordered the cities to start deregulation.
There’s also the fees that have been deregulated, the bill proposing that any equipment that the cable provider is required to provide must count towards the FCC’s 5% franchise fees, saving the cable providers a pretty penny every now and then.
We all are for freedom and competition when it comes to business, but it’s clear that Ajit Pai doesn’t. Whether he’s being paid by a few companies or just friends with powerful people, Ajit is doing what he is doing because he’s benefiting.
The Chairman of the FCC is required to do one thing: support the citizens. When Pai led the repeal of net neutrality, he was not supporting the citizens. In fact, he was supporting fake citizens that were just spam by bots.
When he was allowing the merger of Sinclair and Tribune, that wasn’t in the best interests of the citizens. Letting a company have access to 2/3rds of households isn’t beneficial to citizens unless that company is ESPN.
Ajit Pai represents a danger to America. The term ‘represent’ is used here because he’s only one of many who are willing to leave citizens vulnerable in exchange for a fat paycheck or some recognition. And these issues wouldn’t be so shocking if they could easily be circumvented with a proxy, a VPN router, a firewall or something, but what Pai has done affects the finances of everyone who has an Internet connection. You can’t run from that!