By Rich Zeoli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Rich Zeoli talked with Federal Communication Commissioner Ajit Pai on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about net neutrality and President Obama’s plan to treat internet service like a utility.

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Pai said he opposes the President’s proposal because he thinks it would reduce the amount of choices in the market.

“We need more broadband competition but the problem is that these common carrier rules that the FCC is on the brink of adopting will take us in exactly the opposite direction. I’ve heard from smaller internet service providers, wireless providers, cable companies and telephone companies who don’t have the scale of Comcast and AT&T and they’re telling me it’s tough enough for us to make payroll and for us to build out our infrastructure, if you force us to hire lawyers and accountants to comply with these regulations, there’s a risk that we’re going to go out of business altogether.”

He also stated roundly circulated fears about internet service providers slowing down data from content providers is not covered in the proposal.

“If you look throughout the 332 page document, you would look in vain for any suggestion that there’s an existing anti-competitive harm or any kind of harm to consumers in the current system. People might complain about not enough competition but that’s very different from saying that internet service providers today block content, throttle content and slow down your Netflix. That’s simply not in the document itself. Essentially, we’d be regulating for a problem that doesn’t exist. It’s a solution that won’t ultimately work because it’s going to reduce competition, not increase it.”

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Pai believes the current FCC statutes are outdated and shouldn’t be used regulate a technology as complex as the internet.

“They are invoking the monopoly regulations that were created in 1934, when the FCC was first created and they’re applying it to this very dynamic marketplace. If you look at the document, they’re applying the core of what’s called Title II, which is ‘we were demand just and reasonable rates by all carriers.’ What’s just and reasonable? I have no idea how the FCC is going to make that determination…Do you want a federal agency, un-elected in Washington micromanaging everything about how the internet works, including the rates that are charged, and even beyond rates, the service plans that will allowed to be offered?”

 

 

 

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