Press Release Net Neutrality

Public Knowledge Condemns FCC Commissioner Pai’s Elitist Insult to American People

February 10, 2015 ,

Today, FCC Commissioner Pai will host a press conference at 10:30 a.m. to denounce Chairman Wheeler’s net neutrality proposal consistent with his previously released bullet points. Public Knowledge will host a press call at noon to address his remarks. 

The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge:

“The plain facts speak for themselves. More than 4 million Americans pushed Chairman Wheeler to reconsider his disastrous first proposal in May — a proposal which Commissioners Pai and O’Reilly also denounced at the time, using similar hyperbole about government internet regulation. Tech startups and small businesses have filed in droves insisting that reclassifying broadband as Title II and adopting strong net neutrality rules is key to their ability to continue to create new jobs and new technologies. Civil rights organizations and consumer organizations have emphasized the critical importance of reclassifying broadband and adopting strong net neutrality rules to civic engagement and economic opportunity. Polls show that Democrats and Republicans alike support strong net neutrality rules.

“Additionally, every President in the last 30 years has weighed in publicly with the FCC on issues of national importance. It did not violate the FCC’s independence when President George W. Bush publicly called for Chairman Michael Powell to vote on deregulating media ownership, or when President Bill Clinton wrote a public letter to Chairman Reed Hundt to ban hard liquor advertising on television. It also did not violate the FCC’s independence when President Ronald Reagan asked Chairman Mark Fowler to drop his proposal to rescind the Financial Interest and Syndication Rules. Similarly, President Obama has not violated the independence of the FCC by making his support for strong net neutrality rules under Title II public.

“It is the worst sort of dismissive and elitist insult to the American people, who have participated in the net neutrality debate in unprecedented numbers and spoken with unmistakable clarity across the political spectrum, to call Chairman Wheeler’s proposal ‘Obama’s plan.’ Chairman Wheeler’s proposed Order reflects the demands of the American people, and Chairman Wheeler should be applauded as a hero for being the people’s champion for an open, fast, and fair internet.

“Commissioner Pai has grown fond of saying at the FCC, ‘this is not what democracy looks like.’ Perhaps it is Commissioner Pai who can no longer recognize democracy.”

Press may participate in our noon briefing to discuss Commissioner Pai’s remarks with Harold Feld, Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge and Michael Scurato, Policy Director of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, using the following dial-in:

WHEN: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at noon
DIAL-IN: 1-712-432-3071
PASSWORD: 676292
INSTRUCTIONS: 5* to queue questions

You may also view our History of Presidents Expressing Positions on FCC Policy Initiatives for a timeline detailing our examples addressing Pai's remarks. Additionally, you may view our fact sheet, It's the Regulatory Process: Why We Need the President to Weigh in on Independent Agency Rulemakings, for more information on why this is so.