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FCC head Ajit Pai slams California's net neutrality bill

2018-09-18 17:41 by
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Lawmakers in California passed a bill last month that would ensure net neutrality regulations are state law, but Federal Communications Commission head Ajit Pai has slammed the new measure. In a speech on Friday at the Maine Policy Heritage Center, Pai called the newly passed bill "egregious" and "illegal."

If approved by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bill would ban internet service providers from blocking or slowing content from some websites, and prioritizing some sites over others. Essentially, the bill would restore Obama-era net neutrality regulations that Pai's FCC killed.

"[L]et me be clear: The Internet should be run by engineers, entrepreneurs, and technologists, not lawyers, bureaucrats, and politicians," he said. "That's what we decided in 2017, and we're going to fight to make sure it stays that way." Pai mocked the California effort, evoking the state's regulating the ready availability of single-use plastic straws in restaurants. "In a way, I can understand how they succumbed to the temptation to regulate," he said. "After all, I suppose a broadband pipe might look to some like a plastic straw."

The FCC voted last year to terminate net neutrality nationwide in a move unpopular with consumers. The action benefits big telecom companies by effectively strangling less-profitable content providers that couldn't afford the higher costs of the content blocking and fast-track systems.

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