Chairman of US FCC to speak at Broadband World Forum in Berlin

Created September 29, 2017
News and Business

Ajit Pai, Federal Communications Commission boss and optical fibre champion, to push for “less regulation”.

Ajit Pai, the Chairman of US regulator Federal Communications Commission, is to present a keynote speech at this year’s Broadband World Forum in Berlin. The 44-year-old Republican attorney is scheduled to give a presentation from the FCC at the event on 26 October 2017.

Pai, who was designated Chairman of the FCC by President Donald Trump in January 2017, is an advocate of less regulation in the broadband industry and is currently spearheading the Trump administration’s regulatory rollback of net neutrality protections. The former Verizon Communications employee has argued for less regulation of the internet, having voted against the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which serves as the basis for the net neutrality regulations.

These regulations mean that Internet service providers must treat everyone’s data equally, preventing them from blocking certain websites or throttling the broadband speed. Pai has claimed that any regulations forced on ISPs could end up disincentivising those companies from building Internet access to some parts of the US, in particular low-income or rural areas.

Pai has been a long-term champion of broadband. He has said that when it comes to innovation, the Internet has created a level playing field, calling it the “democratisation of entrepreneurship”. Yet, according to the FCC Chairman, too many people still don’t have broadband, effectively leaving many of them on the wrong side of the “digital divide”.

Fibre promotion
To alleviate this issue, Pai has proposed a comprehensive plan to promote broadband providers to retire increasingly obsolete copper lines in favour of next-generation technologies like fibre. As part of the plan, Pai has stipulated that rural residents in the US must have the same choice for standalone broadband as that typically found in the cities.

In addition, the proposal also suggests freeing up more licensed spectrum for use by wireless carriers and unlicensed spectrum for use by Wi-Fi, as well as preserving Internet freedom both in the US and worldwide, allowing the online world to flourish free from heavy-handed government intervention.

Portfolio Manager Heather James, of BBWF organiser KNect365, said: “We are really excited to have the Chairman from US regulator Federal Communications Commission speaking at Broadband World Forum this year.

“Ajit Pai speaking at the event will give attendees a vital insight into the US Government’s policies on broadband, which could influence the direction of the broadband industry resulting in wide-reaching impact on many areas of the sector.”

For more information about the event, visit the BBWF website

Matthew Peach

This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.