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.