The New FCC to Humbly Serve

by Mike Wendy on January 27, 2017

Brief addendum: If you didn’t already know it by reading this blog, I think Ajit Pai is going to be a good FCC Chairman. He represents the polar opposite of the last Commission’s activist, crony-focused, sky-is-falling MO. As I see it (and hope for), his Commission will take a more optimistic approach to regulating (or not) the U.S. communications landscape – it being more apt to incentivize the attainment of important goals than punishing them into being. Where gaps remain, I see his FCC advocating for focused and cost-effective assistance from public and private actors to help provide alternatives to broken markets, or consumers who experience demonstrable harm. Evidenced-based decision-making – instead of economics-free “reasoning” – should prevail.  In this regard, I see the agency eschewing pessimistic regulatory defaults, while at the same time nimbly (and smartly) addressing harms if and when they occur. As with any change in leadership, new ways of addressing the agency’s affairs will occur.  That said, I expect that these changes will work in favor of, not against, average consumers, whatever institutional or process forms they take.  Rural America, Main Street, the inner city, and communities that are disadvantaged will be lifted up by his more humble approach to oversight and regulation.

To be sure, the new FCC will likely let the market and its entrepreneurs breathe more freely, and use its limited authority to follow policy established by Congress – not that whipped-up by a captured majority of unelected bureaucrats – to serve the “public interest.”  Of course, that center-weighted balance is what America voted for in November.  I believe Chairman Pai’s FCC represents a faith in Americans, and the decisions they make, not evinced in the previous eight years of governance.

One trusts the new FCC and Chairman Pai will not let us down.

Main Street, all America, will benefit with Ajit Pai’s FCC.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Arthur Rhodes January 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm

FTFY: To humbly serve the best interests of regional monopolies. Not the consumers.

I know I know, I’ll save you the trouble Mike:

“Everyone has 7 different choices of ISP’s. Competition is thriving, customer service is fine, there is nothing to complain about”.


Mike Wendy January 30, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Check this out, Arthur (from RealClearMarkets):

In direct contrast to Wheeler’s regulatory philosophy, Chairman Pai, on his new FCC bio page, offers five guiding principles for regulation actually rooted in sound economics and a proper, limited view of the power of regulators:

1) “Consumers benefit most from competition, not preemptive regulation. Free markets have delivered more value to American consumers than highly regulated ones.”

2) “No regulatory system should indulge arbitrage; regulators should be skeptical of pleas to regulate rivals, dispense favors, or otherwise afford special treatment.”

3) “Particularly given how rapidly the communications sector is changing, the FCC should do everything it can to ensure that its rules reflect the realities of the current marketplace and basic principles of economics.”

4) “As a creature of Congress, the FCC must respect the law as set forth by the legislature.”

5) “The FCC is at its best when it proceeds on the basis of consensus; good communications policy knows no partisan affiliation.”


Arthur Rhodes January 30, 2017 at 6:08 pm

I agree. I would like nothing more than real competition. That would solve everything, we wouldn’t title II, net neutrality, we wouldn’t be dealing with these nightmare customer service calls (because why invest in customer service, when you know your customers don’t have other choices).

When we have choice between Fios, ATT, Cox, Comcast, TW, etc. Then the market competitive forces will take care of everything.

But they don’t compete, they even admit that themselves.

For the last time spare everyone your nonsense that we can use WISP’s, DSL, Wireless. None of those things can replace the offerings from the companies I listed above. If they could, then we wouldn’t even be having this convo, because the competitive market forces would change everything. They’d be scared of losing customers to wisps, DSL. their cell phone internet and they would stop behaving in a manner that has caused them to be the most hated industry in america.

Clearly thats not the case. Even the lobbyist in you can acknowledge that right?


Mike Wendy January 30, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Does everyone deserve / need a Porsche?


Arthur Rhodes January 30, 2017 at 8:22 pm

Excellent non answer from a master lobbyist.


Arthur Rhodes January 30, 2017 at 8:26 pm

No, but almost, everyone has a car. Almost. I know not everyone has one but glad you brought it up. A Porsche and a Honda do the same exact thing in city traffic. A Porsche and a Honda are bound by the same speed laws.

By your logic, a car and skateboard are the same thing because they both have 4 wheels.


Mike Wendy January 30, 2017 at 9:11 pm

I’m not asking you to skateboard the Internet, Arthur. Can you get to where you need in your Chevette?

Growing up we had one provider, a twisted-pair from Ma bell. That’s it. And, I’m still here to tell that woeful tale.

Don’t you have a protest to go to? I think you’re late for the matinee.

Arthur Rhodes January 30, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Mike, your car analogy is so bad. If you wanted an accurate Porsche analogy, here you go:

Where I live, if i want a car, I can only get a Porsche 911, no other cars are available to me. Or I can get a bicycle or skateboard. There is no “muni” transportation because Porsche bought off the state to write protectionist laws saying cities cant offer other cars to residents. Then all these think tanks and lobbyists see $$$ and get paid to write about how great everything is. They maybe even hired a low rent blogger lobbyist “” to write stuff.

But its funny, in the county over, the only option for a car is a Mercedes Benz, or bike or skateboard.

Mercedes and Porsche don’t sell cars on each others turf.

Sound familiar?

Now while I go to my “protest”, go check and see if your idol Ted Cruz can find his spine. He fell in line real quick didnt he after he talked such a big game? I guess that’s par for the course for you guys.


Mike Wendy January 31, 2017 at 1:30 am

30 states allow muni. Others rightfully restrict it because it wastes taxpayer dollars. Each type of state has made a decision via free votes.

Seems anything above free is a “Porsche,” eh?

84% of America has at least a wired “Porsche” and “Mercedes” dealership.

96% of America has at least a wired “Porsche” dealership.

99% of America has at least a wired “Porsche” and wireless “Prius” dealership.

And this stuff is growing.

Did Title II bring this about? No. And it won’t help going forward. That’s the funny thing about confiscation (ask Venezuela).

What’s your zip code? I can tell you what dealerships you have. If it “stinks,” which you keep harping how awful your 911 is, then maybe you should consider moving…to Sweden. I hear it’s great there.

Or, Venezuela. At least it’s warm there all year long. There’s no Charmin in the toilet paper dealership, but…


Arthur Rhodes January 31, 2017 at 2:06 am

Mike, I don’t know how much you get paid, to be the ISP bullhorn, but you are earning your pennies.

Every state that restricts muni broadband is pushed by ISP dollars. This is no secret. I guess the ISP’s are so concerned about tax waste. Right.

I wouldn’t be surprised if 100% of America has a “Porsche and Mercedes” dealer. Except they don’t actually compete on each others turf! This is also no secret. If they did, once again, we wouldnt be having this convo right now. Competition solves everything. Cox, Comcast and Fios all operate here in VA. Yet for some reason, my only choice is Fios. But yeah, we have all the “dealerships”.

I will glad burn every ISP regulation to the ground, if there is actual competition.

Wireless? With data caps? Go look at the ATT wireless site and look at the price for 100GB of capped data: $450/month. You are out of your mind.

I don’t need to tell you my zip code, to know what I have as my choices. Its verizon fios. Thats it. Unless I want DSL. Asking an ISP lobbyist to tell me about all my internet “competition” in my area is like asking a willy wonka to tell me how great sugar is for me.

I gotta hand it to you, you have no shame in spouting your BS. You are willing to go down with the ship. I guess thats why they pay you to do this. Oh I forgot, you defend regional monopolies for free. The only man in America who does.

Good night


Mike Wendy January 31, 2017 at 2:01 pm

I have FiOS, which competed me away from Cox here in Fairfax County. I have 4 wireless choices. And there’s satellite. Oh, and the libraries. Lots of different choice for different demand profiles. Tremendous value when looked at in terms of transportation, too: When you leave your manse in Great Falls (from the richest county in America) in your Porsche to go to work, you’re spending about $25 per day to and fro (public transport is only slightly less, but that’s beneath you). Over the month, that’s $500. FiOS transport is about $90 per month. Your corporation might even give you a stipend. Not only does it compete directly / intermodally, it competes in terms of speeds and the underlying technology. Weird, these so-called monopolies actually improve service, increase output and speed, develop new technologies, and lower prices – constantly. They look at the entire ecosystem and work to develop a better offering. That stinks, right? Title II didn’t do that. Munis don’t / can’t do that. Have faith, oh genetically angry Arthur, you’ve got it good. And, wait for it…it’s only getting better. Don’t move to Venezuela just yet.


Arthur Rhodes January 31, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Its amazing, I saw someone ask Doug Brake from ITIF, why people are asking for muni broadband, why so much hate to incumbent ISP’s. He actually acknowledged lack of competition and the terrible customer service.

Thats the difference between someone credible and yourself.


Mike Wendy January 31, 2017 at 5:55 pm

I know Doug, and his latest paper might add more accurate context, and largely contradict your take:

And they’re left-of-center.

No one denies a state’s ability to make muni decisions. If a state wants that – bad idea – then so be it. I hope states vote to impose some restrictions because I think they’re wasteful, among other things. But, if they want ’em, have at it.

Have a nice day in Venezuela. Don’t forget the sun-blocker SPF-50, right?


Arthur Rhodes February 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Actually, that paper was what triggered him to say that. He posted it on twitter. Someone asked. “Why do people hate the incumbent ISP’s and push for muni broadband?”.

his reply: Legit customer service problems and lack of competition.

two things that you could never ever utter for fear of losing your funding and having then to get a real job.


Arthur Rhodes February 1, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Oh that’s the criteria we are using? Since they are left of center, thats why they think that?

Good to know. You are torpedoed to the right, so thats why you believe your alternative facts.

Had I known, this was your logic in forming opinions, would have saved us all a lot of trouble.


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