San Jose Mayor Quits FCC Broadband Council

February 14, 2018
federal communications commission
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article by Christina W. author
Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose, New Mexico, has quit the Federal Communications Commission advisory committee that focuses on providing broadband access. The mayor claims that the council, known as the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, was showing favor to Internet Service Providers.

Liccardo said that: “After nine months of deliberation, negotiation, and discussion, we’ve made no progress toward a single proposal that will actually further the goal of equitable broadband deployment. Not a single one of the draft recommendations attempt to meaningfully identify any new or significant resources to promote digital inclusion.”

He went on to infer that the broadband committee is a waste of time. He believes that, despite the good intentions of a few, the overall committee is determined to give the industry whatever it wants.

The committee was created in 2017 by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. Pai, who showed immense favor towards Internet Service Providers, released the following statement of Liccardo’s resignation.

“The Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee and its working groups have brought together 101 participants from a range of perspectives to recommend strategies to promote better, faster, and cheaper broadband. Bridging the digital divide continues to be my top priority, and I look forward to continuing to work with [the committee] and many others to remove regulatory barriers to broadband deployment and to extend digital opportunity to all Americans,” Pai said.

The Chairman also expressed similar sentiments earlier this month. He believes that the committee is dedicated to the betterment and equality of the digital economy. He also mentioned that consumers should come to accept that city-dwellers are more likely to have high-speed internet access than city dwellers.

The sentiments of the FCC are not shocking considering their determination to repeal net neutrality last year. Pai, who was appointed by United States President Donald Trump, strongly opposed the principle that protects consumers from internet throttling. The Federal Communications Commision received strong backlash from consumers and internet groups who believe that net neutrality is essential to free speech and prosperity. However, the backlash did not sway Pai who claims that the internet was better before the principle was enacted.

“In early 2015, the FCC jettisoned this successful, bipartisan approach to the Internet. On express orders from the previous White House, the FCC scrapped the tried-and-true, light touch regulation of the Internet and replaced it with heavy-handed micromanagement. It decided to subject the Internet to utility-style regulation designed in the 1930s to govern Ma Bell. This decision was a mistake. For one thing, there was no problem to solve. The Internet wasn’t broken in 2015. We weren’t living in a digital dystopia. To the contrary, the Internet is perhaps the one thing in American society we can all agree has been a stunning success,” Pai said.

Several states, like New York and Montana, have created their own laws to protect net neutrality. It is likely that many others will follow. Liccardo has stated that his decision was not influenced by politics.


Source: The Hill, The Verge, Variety