For Immediate Release
February 26, 2020
Contact: Grace Morgan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, on the fifth anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) “Open Internet Order,” the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) praised the pro-innovation agenda of the FCC under current Chairman Ajit Pai that has resulted in the rule’s repeal. After succeeding then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in January 2017, Chairman Pai announced his support for reversing the utility-style regulations imposed on internet providers by his predecessor. In December 2017, Chairman Pai and his fellow commissioners voted to repeal the Open Internet Order kickstarting a two-year surge in broadband investment and digital connectivity.
TPA President David Williams praised Chairman Pai and the current FCC, noting, “despite the gloom and doom predicted by opponents of Title II repeal, the internet is thriving, and more people than ever have access to high-speed internet. In the three years since Chairman Pai took the reins from former Chairman Wheeler, the agency has made significant progress in rolling back the red tape holding back the digital domain. It’s easy to forget how the sheer scope of rules and restrictions hobbled the internet before Chairman Pai. Under Wheeler’s reign of error, internet providers faced the wrath of bureaucrats for offering free or discounted services to low-income consumers. Fortunately, Chairman Pai dismantled this sorry status-quo and created a truly free and open internet.”
Williams continued: “Under the current FCC, internet providers no longer have to beg for permission to create and expand innovative new services for consumers. As Chairman Pai has wisely noted, ‘every dollar that the FCC forces companies to spend [in regulatory costs]…is a dollar that cannot be spent’ on deployment. But critics sounded the alarm on the rolling back of red tape, warning that the internet would become a tiered fiefdom inaccessible to millions of Americans. Needless to say, that dystopia never came to pass, and tens of millions of Americans now enjoy fast, reliable internet access. The internet is alive and well, and providers have unprecedented freedom in bringing innovative services to consumers.”
Williams concluded: “Five years after the dawn of the Open Internet Order, Americans can be thankful that the rising sea of red tape holding back the internet is gone. As America prepares for the rollout of nationwide 5G wireless access this year, the FCC remains committed to pro-market reforms that will expand the promise of fast, reliable internet. The FCC should be proud of its pro-innovation track-record and must continue to push for game-changing reforms.”