Give Chairman Pai a Chance to Break the Net Neutrality Logjam

Doug Brake February 13, 2017
February 13, 2017

With Chairman Ajit Pai newly at the helm of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), this is a time of transition for the agency, writes Doug Brake in Morning Consult. Pai has made clear his priorities: closing the digital divide by spurring high-quality rural broadband deployment, clearing out dated regulatory underbrush, and improving FCC processes. But even with these anodyne objectives, the chairman has been met with controversy. Net neutrality activists are eager for a fight, and many in the skeptical, click-keen press are happy to paint the new FCC in as stark of terms as possible. At some point Pai is going to have to dance with the elephant in the room. Congress has now explicitly asked the FCC to play its open internet hand first. The problem is net neutrality is more religious war than policy discussion, and, with accusations of “alternative facts” already flying, it’s unlikely the gulf between the two sides is closed any time soon. We need some way to break this logjam; I hope Pai is up to the task.