Originally published: December 6, 2013
Last updated: December 6, 2013 - 9:22pm
Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai spoke at a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Task Force on Communications and Technology. Commissioner Pai celebrated their common cause: fighting for the cherished principles of a vibrant free market, limited government, and federalism. “Perhaps nowhere are they more vital right now than in the communications and technology sector,” he said.
He focused on the IP Transition -- the Internet’s is transformation of the nation’s telecommunications networks. He said “allowing new IP-enabled services to thrive free from undue intervention isn’t enough. Some heavy-handed rules currently apply to the old telephone services provided by incumbent local exchange carriers. Those rules saddle carriers with tariffs, rate regulation, required cross-subsidization, and other requirements inspired by 19th century railroad regulation.” He highlighted the century-old Kingsbury Commitment, a historic deal in which “the federal government essentially blessed a telephone monopoly in exchange for one company, one system, universal service.”
In his remarks, Commissioner Pai recognized states as leaders in “clearing out this regulatory underbrush.” He also offered two ideas for what states should be doing now:
- They should be proactive in reducing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment.
- They should make it easier to use the Internet for innovative, over-the-top business models.