FCC Chair Wants You To Sit Down And Shut Up About Net Neutrality, Everything Else

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is a comic book villain, a corporate stooge who buried his nose in the assholes of Republican lawyers and lobbyists long enough to wield power as a mostly unsung government bureaucrat. Pai, a self-proclaimed technology and small business advocate, has spent the past two decades spitting in the face of prisoners and the poor, while attempting to break apart the Internet into chunks just big enough for a telecom to swallow. He's very efficient.

Pai got right to work screwing the poor and the indigent before even being nominated to office. He started off with the Inmate Calling System (ICS), an effort to lower the cost of phone calls for prison inmates. Under previous FCC chair Tom Wheeler, the FCC tried to put a cap on the rates phone companies were charging prisoners in the ever-expanding private prison system after it was revealed that they regularly charge triple the normal rate for long distance calls. Pai didn't think prisoners and their families should be charged the same rates as everyone else, so he pulled support of the program, thus allowing phone companies to continue screwing people who were already being punished, as well as their families.

[wonkbar][/wonkbar]After he finished squelching the songs of jailbirds, Pai reached out and slapped some welfare queens by limiting access to cheap phones and Internet. Created under godless hippy Marxist Ronald Reagan, the federal Lifeline program gives poor people phone service at a steep discount. Lifeline was later expanded by President Kenya McFreebie to include broadband internet and cellphone access so the poors could bootleg cartoon pony shows while filling out job applications.

Pai felt that the Lifeline program was rampant with fraud and states should make the decision on who who is poor enough to get an Obamaphone or Obamanet. He argued that although wireless carriers were duplicating names, it was really the fault of consumers, but a GAO report found rampant fraud and laid blame on the telecoms, concluding, "We're currently letting phone companies cash a government check every month with little more than the honor system to hold them accountable, and that simply can't continue."

The fact that Pai likes to push for corporate deregulation isn't much of a surprise given that he spent several years lawyering for Verizon on regulatory policy and broadband issues. In his view, the Internet is too heavily regulated, thus stifling Internet access for rural communities, and harming the mythical innovations they have no incentive to achieve.

In reality, Internet Service Providers (ISP) have large, well entrenched monopolies throughout the country and routinely neuter the attempts of local governments to create their own municipal fiber infrastructure projects in order to squash competitors. Under Obama, previous FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler fought to classify the Internet as a utility, like water and electricity, after a massive study (and John Oliver) concluded that everyone in America is being royally screwed by telecom companies.

Your internet sucks because Comcast sucks.

No, it's not just your town, the U.S. just has shitty Internet.

This is one of the reasons why net neutrality is so damn important. Net neutrality, the policy that all data is equal, is essential to maintaining the basic structure of the Internet. It's the idea that an ISP can't differentiate between visiting Wonkette, InstaBook SnapFace, or weird kaiju fetish porn. Without net neutrality, ISPs could charge additional fees to look at a specific website on top of your existing Internet connection, like they do with the movie and Skinemax channels on cable TV. If net neutrality regulations are rolled back it's far more likely you'll get worse service with higher prices.

Pai has long been a proponent of anti-net neutrality laws. Net neutrality, according to Pai, discourages telecom companies from investing in their networks, and when John Oliver did an entire show devoted to net neutrality (TWICE) to show how the FCC had begun to turn into a moldy shit-sandwich under Pai, thousands of fake comments began to appear on the FCC's hidden comments section. When it was discovered that those comments all appeared at the same exact time, AND used stolen identities of real people, Pai and the FCC remained uncharacteristically silent.

Ajit Pai tries to pass himself off as a nerd, but that's a lie as big as his obnoxiously oversized coffee cup. He's the guy who shows up to Star Trek conventions gushing about Jar-Jar Binks. He's the jerk who spoils Game of Thrones on Monday mornings, and confuses Gandalf with Dumbledore. He's one of those people who believes the corporations should control access to information, not the people. He's Trump's lackey who has already screwed prisoners, the poor, and now he wants to screw everyone in America.

So here's two ways you can fight back!

Easy Mode:You can go to https://www.battleforthenet.com/ and send a letter to Ajit Pai and let him know that we're not going to let this happen.

Hard Mode: Go to https://www.GoFCCyourself.com, click "Express", and fill out the form. This is public record, so remember your Emily Post.

Finally, I'll leave you with Pai ripping off Jimmy Kimmel's mean tweets bit to really drive home the fact that he's an insensitive prick deserving of our public scorn.

[Law 360 / Ars Technica / Vice NewsBuzzfeed / Adam Ruins Everything (podcast)Adam Ruins Everything (TV)/ Wired / The Marshall Project / Alameda County District Attorney's Office / USA Today / PBS Newshour / EFF / Ars Technica / Daily Beast / Tech Dirt]

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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.


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