Press Release

Public Knowledge Video Urges FCC Chairman Pai to Stand Against Broadband Monopolies

April 19, 2017 , , , ,

Today, Public Knowledge launched a new video encouraging Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai to stand with Americans for broadband competition and against local broadband monopolies. The video highlights Republican support for competition in broadband, insurance and healthcare, featuring clips from President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) promising to stand against monopolies. Public Knowledge urges Chairman Pai to do the same.

The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President at Public Knowledge:

“The simplest way to provide affordable access to the basic needs of American families is through a competitive free market. House Speaker Paul Ryan makes this point about healthcare and it is definitely true about the basic communications network of the 21st century: high-speed broadband. As Jared Kushner says, ‘high-speed fiber with multiple carriers’ can lower costs and give American families more choices. Access to high-speed broadband also brings American family a connection to quality health care, educational opportunities, jobs and entrepreneurship in a global market, and emergency communications.

“Unfortunately, the policies of the current FCC are not promoting competition, but instead are giving big cable and telecommunications companies the right to prioritize their own content over what you want to see and the right to lock consumers into monopoly fees on cable boxes.

“Pai has consistently supported allowing dominant transmission and media companies to consolidate, harming the growth of competition and expanded sources of news and information in the marketplace. With companies proposing merger, after merger, after merger, after merger, we need an FCC that will fight growing monopolies.

“We know what the alternatives are to choice and competition in broadband access. Either a regulated monopoly like 20th century telephone service, or worse — an unregulated monopoly with no clear consumer protection rules. Chairman Pai is taking us towards that monopoly circus without a safety net. In March, Chairman Pai championed the repeal of online privacy rules, despite 75 percent of Republicans supporting these protections that prevented broadband providers from selling our data without consent. In April, Chairman Pai redefined an ‘appropriate level of competition’ down to a single competitor. Who knows what he may do to Open Internet rules?

“It’s time for Americans to make themselves heard before Chairman Pai removes another consumer protection.”

You may view the video here. You may also view the transcript.