March 7, 2017 —
While taking a light-touch approach to 5G, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the Commission’s approach to regulating the next generation of wireless will be “practical, not ideological,” in his speech to the Mobile World Congress last week in Barcelona.
“We recognize that government does have a role to play when it comes to broadband,” Pai said. “For example, a marketplace that isn’t competitive doesn’t serve consumers well. So our approach will be not zero regulation, but light-touch regulation—rules backed by long-standing principles of competition law.”
Pai plans to incentivize broadband deployment in unserved or underserved parts of the country, including $4 billion already announced to expand mobile broadband in rural America.
“We will devote these funds to bringing Americans living in the analog age into the digital one. And we will do even more in the time to come to incentivize every sector, every company to build networks and to compete,” he said.
In a reference that showed his disdain for net neutrality, Pai said he will remove barriers to innovation and investment instead of creating new ones.
“That means taking targeted action to address real problems in the marketplace instead of imposing broad, preemptive regulations,” Pai said. “And that means respecting principles of economics, physics, and law and acting with humility as we regulate one of the most dynamic marketplaces history has ever known. This vision will unleash the massive investments that will help the United States realize its 5G future.”