Pai Responds

  • Post category:Blog

To almost everyone and every entity, or so it seems. Just recently FCC Chairman Ajit Pai responded to:

Congressional letters from a number of Democrats urging the Commission to delay its vote on the Restoring Internet Freedom Order until fraudulent comments are investigated. Response: No, the draft order was released early enough for the public to thoroughly review it and provide feedback.

A separate letter from Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.), expressing concern over the repeal of previous net neutrality rules. Response: The order had extensive public participation and a high level of transparency, and its resultant light touch regulation will spur investment in rural broadband networks.

A letter from Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky), asking the FCC to address the budget shortfalls in the USF program. Response: A recently proposed order will provide over $500 million in additional funding for small, rural carriers and seek input on giving legacy RoR RLECs another opportunity to elect ACAM support.

Congressional letters from a variety of Senators and Representatives seeking additional ACAM funding for rural areas. Response:  The same proposed order referenced above will provide additional USF funding for both RoR and ACAM participants.

A letter from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), urging the Commission to reject its proposal to downgrade the minimum benchmark of internet service and to treat mobile broadband as a stand-in for fixed home internet. Response: The FCC report maintains the existing benchmark and mobile broadband is not considered a full substitute for fixed service.

A letter from Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), asking the FCC to protect rural broadband deployment through its high cost program. Response: The Commission has investigated, and proposed forfeitures, for past abuses of the high cost fund, and initiated a draft order with rules to prevent future abuses of the fund.

A letter from Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) expressing concern with proposed Commission changes to the tribal Lifeline program. Response: A number of tribal groups have actually given their support to the changes made in November 2017.

A letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) seeking an update on the status of a petition for waiver from Panora Communications and Prairie Telephone. Response: The FCC has granted, in part, that waiver request.

A letter from Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Mike Lee {R-Utah) urging consumer protection from debt collectors using robocalls. Response:  The Commission has taken many enforcement actions against the biggest violators of the Truth in Caller ID Act, and is committed to holding violators accountable.

A letter to Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and the Pennsylvania Attorney General requesting that the Commission finalize and implement the new robocall rules. Response: The FCC adopted stringent rules in November 2017 and that order is part of its overall strategy for preventing robocalls.

ICORE believes that Ajit Pai is a very fair, reasoned, competent, active — and RESPONSIVE — FCC Chairman. We would put him on a pedestal with Harold Furchtgott- Roth.