By: John Eggerton
In a speech to WISPAPALOOZA, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association conference in Las Vegas Oct. 15, Pai took a page from former President Ronald Reagan to make his point. “President Ronald Reagan wisely said that the ‘government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.’ Unfortunately, I’m worried that’s where the FCC might be headed when it comes to the Internet.”
Saying “everyone wants a free and open Internet,” Pai also invoked National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell in his former job. “One decade ago, then-FCC Chairman Michael Powell outlined four principles of Internet Freedom: The freedom to access lawful content, the freedom to use applications, the freedom to attach personal devices to the network, and the freedom to obtain service plan information. Republicans and Democrats, consumers and industry, everyone agreed with these principles.”
It was the FCC’s attempt to apply those principles to Comcast that prompted the court fights that ultimately resulted in the most recent D.C. federal court invalidation of no-blocking and anti-unreasonable discrimination rules, which FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is trying to restore on firmer legal ground.