Less than a week until TNW València 🇪🇸 Get a last-minute 30% discount on your ticket

This article was published on December 1, 2017

If FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to ‘set the record straight’ on net neutrality he should stop lying

If FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to ‘set the record straight’ on net neutrality he should stop lying
Tristan Greene
Story by

Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him

We should all be able to agree – no matter what your politics are – that among the worst things done by former US President Barrack Hussein Obama was the appointment of a Verizon lawyer to the FCC.

Trump didn’t do us any favors by making him chairman.

The internet as we know it is about to be taken away from innovators and technologists and given to the marketing and accounting teams for Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T. It isn’t right.

Any attempts by shills like Ajit Pai to convince the general public that repealing net neutrality is good for us (not just his buddies in Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T) have been based on outright falsehoods — not alternative facts, not specific points of view, but lies.

Ajit Pai’s recent “Myth VS Fact” sheet he wrote up to try and sell the repeal is nothing more than propaganda and outright lying. You can read it here. We also suggest reading The Daily Dot’s take-down of it here.

The TL:DR for it is: Ajit Pai and the money-grubbing companies responsible for him want you to focus on two simple truths they believe will cause you to ignore everything the entire technology community is saying.

  1. The internet was fine before net neutrality
  2. Companies didn’t block/throttle/fastlane before Obama got his hands on the internet, they won’t now, because if they did the consumer backlash would be too great

Let me translate this for you: Ajit Pai thinks we’re idiots.

And to avoid the risk of being called a hater, let me also point out Ajit Pai’s biggest talking point about net neturality as of late is to claim that net neutrality rules stifle broadband growth.

Here’s Ajit Pai lying:

MYTH: Investment has flourished under the current regulatory framework.

FACT:Following the adoption of the Obama Administration’s 2015 heavy-handed Internet regulations, broadband investment has fallen for two years in a row—the first time that’s happened outside of a recession in the Internet era.

And here’s The Daily Dot explaining why it’s a lie:

Fact-check: This one is really at the heart of the issue—and Pai’s argument appears to be entirely false.

The main reason Pai wants to kill net neutrality rules is that, he claims, they are stifling the ISP industry and, therefore, limiting investment in building out and improving their networks. This is a claim the industry itself makes. However, data collected by Free Press, one of the leading pro-net neutrality non-profits, shows that investment across publicly traded ISPs has risen more than 5 percent, on average, in the two years since the net neutrality rules went into effect. In fact, Comcast increased investments by more than 26 percent. Not only that, but broadband speeds have increased since 2015, showing network improvements that benefit customers.

Still, let’s address those above two important points.

Saying the internet was fine before net neutrality is like saying “AI wasn’t dangerous before the singularity, I don’t know why everyone wants to ban all these killer robots now that they’ve started exterminating humanity” after the world is taken over by Terminators.

Google, Uber, and Amazon didn’t have to compete with companies like themselves when they were startups. The internet was not “fine” before net neutrality, it was quickly expanding.

Secondly, Ajit Pai wants us all to put our faith in Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and the other wormy companies trying to wriggle their way into an entirely new revenue stream based on “premium” packages.

Here’s how that works. Before 2015 Verizon didn’t offer a “fast lane” so, says Ajit Pai, they won’t now. If you believe that, we’d like to introduce you to our Nigerian Prince friend.

It will literally happen as soon as possible. How could we possibly know this? Because it’s already happening in countries that don’t have strong net neutrality.

If, for some reason, you still believe that Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and the other providers won’t throttle/fastlane/block content, allow me to paint a picture for you.

It’s 2018 and Verizon is holding a big board meeting with a bunch of important people who’ve never worn a hoodie in their life. It’s suits, ties, and the faint scent of cigar smoke in every direction. A sweaty guy who wishes he was somewhere else is explaining that profits are up, but not quite as much as projected.

One of the stuffy execs pipes up and says, “Wouldn’t those profits be higher if we could get more subscribers by offering lower priced packages? And, couldn’t we make up for those cuts by offering packages with even higher prices than we have now — to appeal to our “premium” customers?”

What do you think happens next?

When it comes to net neutrality clearly you have only two choices.

Either you believe that corporations won’t take advantage of tactics that are proven to work, because even though these companies have collectively spent millions lobbying for the opportunity to do so they’ll just choose not to, for ethical reasons.

Or you understand the Chairman of the FCC is purposely lying to us and abusing his position of power.

If you’d like to sign a petition demanding that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai resign immediately, you can do it here.

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.

Back to top