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FCC chair calls for ‘regulatory humility’

Ajit Pai, chairman of the FC, has called for a greater degree of “regulatory humility” to open the door to greater investment in 5G and fibre networks, reports the Financial Times. “Pai, who was appointed by Donald Trump, has immediately started to repeal regulations introduced in the US related to net neutrality introduced two years ago and to roll back online privacy rules that his predecessor at the FCC only introduced in October last year. In an interview with the Financial Times at the Mobile World Congress, Pai defended the decision to do away with hard-fought rules on net neutrality that forbid broadband providers from blocking or limiting internet traffic from some content providers while selling ‘fast lanes’ to others. He said that spending by telecoms companies had fallen after the regulations were introduced, which he attributed to ‘a heavy-handed legal framework applied by the FCC’ that had deterred investment.” “Infrastructure spending is lower today than in 2015. That does not benefit consumers,” Pai said. He argues that telecoms companies need to be offered incentives to justify the billions of dollars of investment in 5G and fibre networks and has moved to deregulate the industry as a result. “My goal is to return to the goals of the open internet,” he said, rebuffing accusations that the removal of net neutrality regulations would lead to telecoms companies manipulating internet access to favour certain services. “I don’t think government produces good results when it micromanages business decisions.” Some people in the European telecoms sector told the Financial Times that his attitude to regulation was welcome at a time when the European Union is implementing net neutrality laws and adding to the regulatory burden of the sector. More here

  • Friday, 17 March 2017

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